Asbestos find at old school won’t delay start of term

Demolition of the old school at Langlee has hit a problem, but SBC says the planned opening of the new school, left, is on track.
Demolition of the old school at Langlee has hit a problem, but SBC says the planned opening of the new school, left, is on track.

Contractors demolishing the old Langlee Primary School have found more asbestos than they expected, which has delayed the levelling of the site.

However, Scottish Borders Council has pledged that the delay will not mean extra holidays for the children.

The pupils at Langlee – and the region’s other primary school in Duns – will start their new term in their new buildings on Wednesday, August 16, one day after the rest of the Borders, to allow teachers to get their new classrooms ready for the new term.

Earlier this week, the council told us that the school would be open on the Tuesday, along with everyone else, which is what appeared in this week’s edition of the Southern Reporter.

However, they contacted us later in the week with the later start date.

The site of the old school at Langlee was supposed to be landscaped ahead of the opening of the new one, and the job was so tightly scheduled – with pupils enjoying one more day’s holiday at the start of the summer break in order for the work to be completed – that parents have now raised fears about the start date.

Rumours spread that an extra week was required to make the site safe, but that has been denied by council bosses.

A spokesperson for the authority told the Southern this week: “Some additional asbestos has been discovered in the former Langlee Primary School following intrusive works, which means the demolition of the old building will take slightly longer than originally scheduled.

“However, there will be no impact on the new school, with the deconstruction of the old school taking place in a safe and controlled manner and managed appropriately.

“But both new schools at Duns and Langlee are opening a day later on Wednesday, August 16, not Tuesday, August 15, like all other schools in Borders.

“This is to let the teachers get ready for the new school term in the new buildings.”