THE Wellbeing Hub and Lochies School project has reached another key stage in the design process, councillors will hear this week.

Clackmannanshire Council is set to hear an update on the project when elected members gather for a meeting on Thursday, May 16.

The hub is set to replace Alloa’s former leisure bowl in the west of the town, including a swimming pool, with a vision for an inclusive, accessible and inspiring facility that improves the quality of life for Wee County communities.

It will also be a location for a specialist school for pupils who require a significant level of additional support to access learning.

Hub East Central Scotland, the local authority’s development partner, is finalising its Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stage 2 submission for the council to review and approve.

Known as the concept design stage, this will establish the functional baseline to allow the project to progress to the next stage of design, a report to be tabled at Kilncraigs explained.

It comes after four formal pre-application consultation events took place through March and April to gather feedback on the proposals from residents.

In parallel with the statutory consultation events, wider consultation also took place and a meeting was held with the Joint Community Council Forum in April.

Workshops were also held with staff from Lochies School to hear their feedback on the design proposals while parents also had the opportunity to give their input.

The headteacher from Lochies, along with members of the project team, also visited Beatlie School in West Lothian in March.

The school opened in August 2023 for children with additional support needs with the visit helping to inform the design for the new Lochies School.

Meetings with the Co-Design Group have also concluded and a final report collating all the feedback and comments is being submitted to the project team for analysis.

This will ensure that the proposals reflect the needs and aspirations of various user groups.

Engagement is set to continue with the group to help inform the operation schedule of the facility and to ensure the user-voice is included.

As reported in April, a competition in partnership with the Futures Institute at Dollar Academy (FIDA) which asked students to design an outdoor space for the hub and school development has also concluded.

With a number of strong entries, Alloa Academy was offered the chance to host a half-day workshop and eight pupils, including competition winners Harrison and Emma, met and worked with Nik Shala from JM Architects and Kirsty Knott from Rankin Fraser.

Ambitions are for construction to begin early next year.

The Wellbeing Hub is hoped to be complete by the end of 2026 and the school by the first quarter of 2027, along with external landscaping.