A new school is to rise from the ashes in Peebles

A new study is to look at the benefits of a complete replacement of fire-ravaged Peebles High School, it has been announced.

Monday, 14th December 2020, 12:45 pm
Fire-ravaged Peebles High School.

The need for a major overhaul at the Springwood Road school became a priority at the end of November last year when a blaze ripped through the 1936 block, the arts block, gymnasium and other areas.

An initial feasibility study considered the replacement of parts of the building lost or damaged by the fire.

But consideration is now being given instead to a complete rebuild of the school, members of Scottish Borders Council will be told when they meet on Thursday, December 17.

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A report to the committee says: “Progress has been made with the feasibility study that considered the replacement of the parts of the building lost or damaged by the fire. This would require the retention of significant parts of the building and lead to compromises in form, and function.

“The delivery timescales for fully opening the new school would also be extended.

“The retention of the Millennium Wing would require the rebuild to proceed in close proximity to the functioning school and as such officers have now considered whether a complete new build would provide better value in terms of time and cost.

“A further study has therefore now been undertaken to explore an alternative new build solution at Peebles High School. The purpose of this is to assess the benefits, cost and timescales of the different solutions available to establish which best supports educational objectives, supporting learners in Peebles over the long term.”

Committee members are being recommended to approve the conclusion of the new feasibility study.

Due to the continued presence of Covid-19, community consultation over the matter will be carried out via digital forms of communication.

Following November’s fire pupils were dispersed to various other educational facilities, while a series of works were carried out to make the remaining buildings safe.

This was followed by a recovery plan of temporary classrooms that enabled teaching and learning to recommence in early February.