WORK has finally started on the long-awaited Newbattle Centre in Midlothian.
The community hub and high school, which is being delivered by Midlothian Council’s development partner hub South East and its appointed contractor, Morrison Construction, is expected to open in 2018.
Pupils, staff, councillors and the construction team attended a sod-cutting ceremony to mark the start of construction work, which had been delayed due to “European accounting issues”.
Councillor Bob Constable, the council’s cabinet member for education, said, “This is an exciting and historic day in the development of the new Newbattle campus. The replacement for the school has been much anticipated.
“As a council, we want to make sure we have a school and community facility that exceeds the requirements of today’s Curriculum for Excellence. We also want to provide great sport and leisure facilities that will benefit the school and the wider community.”
The centre is being paid for with joint money from the council and through the Scottish Government’s Scotland’s Schools for the Future Programme. It will include a new library, gym, swimming pool and sports facilities.
Cabinet Secretary for Education, Angela Constance, said, “The Scottish Government has worked closely with Midlothian Council to help improve its school estate and I’m pleased we could provide around £19 million in funding towards this project through our Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme. Newbattle Campus will provide a modern environment for pupils to learn in and fantastic new facilities for the whole community to enjoy.”
Richard Park, operations director, hub South East , added, “It’s fantastic to reach the major milestone of construction in the development of the Newbattle Centre and we look forward to working with Midlothian Council to deliver a first-class, modern new high school, designed to meet the needs of pupils, staff and the local community.”
Jeff Thornton, construction manager for Morrison Construction, said, “The Newbattle Centre will provide a fantastic, modern environment for the community to enjoy and a stimulating learning environment for both staff and pupils.”