Learn, rest and play
The Wonder Years Nursery in East Sands, St Andrews, today offers local residents the latest in childcare services. Back in 2013, however, it was in serious need of renovation, until Alumno came up with a successful proposal to redevelop the nursery as part of a project that also created high-quality student accommodation, while improving access to and the appearance of Scotland’s coast.
“The location was ideal for student housing as it is within easy walking distance of the University of St Andrews,” explains Alumno managing director David Campbell. “Before submitting our East Sands proposal, our team met local residents, community groups, nursery staff and parents to get their feedback. We then incorporated their views into the final plans.”
The original nursery building and surrounding external space was poor quality and detracted from the character of the East Sands shoreline. Alumno’s plans involved replacing the site’s existing building with modern childcare facilities as well as incorporating accommodation for 153 students into the new building. The scheme also included the creation of an attractive and functional open space, along with landscaping, to protect and enhance the site’s surroundings and increase its accessibility to the general public.
The project was completed in 2015. Along with the redeveloped nursery, it includes a mix of self-contained cluster flats of between four and six en-suite bedrooms, common room and other associated amenities, providing an excellent living environment for existing students, while helping attract more to the university. Meanwhile, the managed nature of the accommodation not only enhances the student experience, but also helps to keep disruption of the local community to a minimum.
Ranald Strachan – Countryside Ranger with Fife Coast and Countryside Trust, which manages and maintains the Fife Coastal Path – is delighted with the development, saying: “The inclusion of good-quality accessible public space as part of the East Sands student accommodation is most welcome and the green space area provided helps support the area as a hub for many recreational activities.”