Rebuild of fire-damaged school would take half the time of refurbishment

Peebles High School (2019)

SCOTTISH Borders Council looks set to back proposals for the build of a new £46 million Peebles High School.

The school was badly damaged by a fire in 2019. Council documents show that a refurbishment of the building would cost just £3 million less than the build of a new school – with the latter taking just 24 months, compared to the 40 months estimated for the refurbishment.

The local authority said that work which would be undertaken in the new build includes the diversion of a water main; full external landscaping; supplementary car parking; and the installation of a 3G sports pitch.

It added that the temporary classrooms, which were put in place following the 2019 fire, would remain in use throughout the construction period – with pupils then using the new facility to allow for the remaining old building to be demolished.

Councillor Carol Hamilton, executive member for children and young people at the Scottish Borders Council, said, “Access to high-quality learning and educational facilities for our young learners will always be a priority for Scottish Borders Council and I’m encouraged to see the swift progress we’ve made in reaching this proposal.

“After carefully considering both options for rebuilding Peebles High School, it has become evidently clear that the complete rebuild of the school will present significant savings in time and minimise the disruption to pupils and staff throughout the process.

“The full rebuild will allow us to offer a modern, environmentally sustainable learning environment to the benefit of Peebles and the surrounding area.

“Further engagement with the local community is vital for this project and full consultations will be taking place in due course to ensure all voices are heard.”