Build of £88m Passivhaus school underway in Fife

Turf cutting

A groundbreaking ceremony has been held at the site of the build of the new South West Fife High School.

The £88 million school, which is being delivered by hub East Central Scotland and built by BAM Construction, is scheduled to open in 2026 and will replace the existing Inverkeithing High.

With capacity for around 1,800 pupils, the three-storey school will be built to Passivhaus principles, which Fife Council said is estimated to see it use around 75% less energy than standard practice for a UK new built.

Fully accessible and flexible indoor and outdoor spaces for learning will feature, as well as an assembly hall which can accommodate 350 pupils and features retractable seating, and a mixture of all-weather pitches and grass pitches as well as multi-use facilities.

Surrounded by pupils, staff, councillors, and project contractors, Fife Council leader David Ross and education cabinet secretary, Jenny Gilruth, cut the first sod together, to mark the beginning of the building phase of the  project.

Councillor Ross said, “The ceremony is a significant step on the way to having a new high school for South West Fife, to replace the current Inverkeithing High School and I’m pleased that we had some of the young people who will benefit from this new school with us. This school will be the latest in the Council’s programme to renew all its secondary schools and marks a total capital investment of £88m from the council with revenue funding support from Scottish Government.

“We’ll be working with our trusted partners, hub East Central Scotland, contractors BAM and the Scottish Futures Trust to deliver a brand new state-of-the-art high school for the young people of South West Fife. It demonstrates the council’s continued commitment to provide the best learning environment and facilities we can for Fife’s young people and this new school is an exciting opportunity which will benefit learners and community users now and into the future.”

CEO of hub East Central Scotland, Gary Bushnell, added, “Designing and building the school to Passivahus principles ensures that learners will enjoy an environment that is full of natural light and with exceptional comfort standards. The facility will benefit from comfortable even temperatures and a constant supply of fresh air, while energy consumption is optimised to reduce carbon and running costs. This makes a significant contribution to meeting the council’s net zero carbon ambition.”