A NEW £9 million Inverclyde school has come under the microscope - from a group of eagle-eyed pupils.

Boys and girls from St Ninian's Primary in Gourock made a short trip next door to where their replacement daytime home is being built.

It was the last in a series of visits by pupils to meet with representatives from contractors CCG Scotland and project management company hubWest Scotland.

Councillor Jim Clocherty, convener of Inverclyde Council's education committee, was also in attendance to cast his eye over the new-build.

Work started in June last year and the £9m development is around five weeks away from completion.

Pupils of all ages from the St Ninian's 'press gang' group have been there every step of the way and enjoyed seeing their new school take shape.

Rory Hurrell, who is in P6, said: "I'm amazed at how quickly it has been built.

"It will be great to be in a modern school."

The new St Ninian's is being built on the former blaes pitches of the current school site.

It will boast 13 classrooms, a gym, dining hall, music room and a library over two storeys.

Children will be dropped off at a dedicated lay-by with space for three buses and pedestrian access from Staffa Street, Drumshantie Road and Kirn Drive.

The existing school building will be flattened once the work is complete.

Isabella McCafferty, from P4, said: "I enjoyed going to the top of the building.

"It was really cool."

After the walk-round, the youngsters quizzed construction crew chiefs about how the work is progressing.

Site manager John Jamieson, from CCG, said: "One of the benefits of the project has been working with the kids at the school and we also went up to St Columba's High to speak to them about work experience and encourage them to join the building trade once they leave school because there's a shortage of labour.

"It's been great to be part of the community."

Colin Nelson, project manager from hubWest, added: "Once the guys have finished the new school, the decant of the old one will begin and we will then move over to start demolishing the old school.

"We're progressing well and the full development is due for completion in autumn this year."

The new St Ninian's is another piece of the council's £270m plan to have every school either rebuilt or refurbished by 2020.

Councillor Clocherty said: "Through this project and the current £5m refurbishment of Moorfoot Primary we are continuing to show our commitment to education in Gourock and Inverclyde as a whole."