WORK has already started on the community hub at Alva Primary, despite parents’ last-minute efforts to delay the development.

The library and community access point (CAP) in the Hillfoots town is relocating to the school, where a hub will be formed from two classrooms in an effort to drive costs down.

An online petition was launched to stop the works, reaching more than 500 signatures at the time of writing.

It is understood the children in P1 and P2 will have to give up a purpose-built space and move upstairs to make way for the development.

The idea was first floated in the 2016-17 budget and the council claims there had been an "extensive consultation exercise" at the time.

However, no details on layouts, traffic management or security measures can be found from then.

Parents, as well as the town’s community council, have hit out over the lack of meaningful engagement.

Alva Primary School Parent Council raised a number of concerns around safety and traffic, especially as there has been no lollipop person in place at a nearby crossing in recent times.

However, the council this week confirmed a temporary replacement crossing patrol guide has been recruited “and it is hoped they will be in place for the start of the new term”.

Andy Witty, parent council chair, explained that while some issues have been addressed, he was disappointed that no formal public meeting took place, with only a drop-in session last week when people finally had a chance to see the plans.

He said: “The current plans, we understand, have only been finalised in the last few weeks and there are still serious safety issues around some of the plans, yet they are starting the work on Monday.”

The Alva Community Action Group, under the umbrella of the town’s community council, also hit out.

They said a council officer first discussed the matter with them in November 2017 and while their wish to incorporate a public meeting room, following a second meeting late-May, will be granted, they say they were promised wider public consultation ahead of last week’s drop-in.

However, that has not taken place with the group saying the council’s methods of consultation have been "sadly lacking" on the matter. They are hoping to avoid a "repeat" with a town centre upgrade due next year.

The council said changes are being made to parking and access arrangements to ensure safety.

A spokeswoman added: “Many nurseries and primaries have classrooms upstairs, and most children are used to using stairs in other aspects of their lives.

“Risk assessments and fire plans will be in place.

“A number of schools throughout Scotland have community facilities incorporated within their buildings, these facilities have operated successfully and securely for many years.”

The entrance foyer has also been enlarged to make sure the hub is accessible without entering the secure doors to the school.

The spokeswoman continued: “The secure entry system for the school will ensure that doors are locked down whilst pupils are in the school.”