School pupils model park enhancements

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Youngsters have been sharing their vision of the city centre as part of community project to mark the start of the transformation of Union Terrace Gardens.

Third Year pupils at Harlaw Academy were asked to models new elements of the park in an exercise led by construction contractor Balfour Beatty.

The £25.7 million Aberdeen City Council project will deliver pavilions, elevated walkways, event space and play facilities when it reopens in Summer 2021.

Over the course of four sessions, five teams of eight pupils were asked to build a small-scale model of the Burns Pavilion using materials such as balsa wood, foam boards and card. Pupils were also asked to craft a feature they would wish to see included in the community garden space.

Groups presented their work to a judging panel made up of Councillor Marie Boulton from the City Council; Steve Petrie, Balfour Beatty Business Improvement Lead and Developing Young Workforce North East (DYW North East) chairperson; and Joan Young, School and Business Co-ordinator, DYW North East.

Pupils’ ideas included using solar power for the pavilion offering a Japanese garden as place where visitors could “chill”.

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The winning team proposed combining eating and event space in the pavilion and adding a Yellow Brick Road to the Community Garden.

Councillor Boulton said: “We were hugely impressed by all of the groups. From the detailing of the pavilions to the inventiveness of their own designs for the Community Garden, it’s clear that the next generation is ready to make UTG their own.”

Mr Petrie said: “This is a tremendous initiative which has resulted in the young people of Harlaw Academy deploying problem-solving, teamwork, collaboration and their imagination throughout their time spent formulating their plans.”

Main photograph shows Councillor Boulton and Steve Petrie with the winning group.