U-turn on High School receives glowing report

A U-turn over the future of fire-ravaged Peebles High School has received the ringing endorsement of local elected members.

Fire-ravaged Peebles High School.
Fire-ravaged Peebles High School.

After a blaze tore through the Springwood Road school last November an initial feasibility study proposed the replacement of those parts of the building that were lost or damaged.

Now, partly due to the need to minimise disruption for pupils and staff, there has been a change of tack.

Members of the full council were recommended at their meeting yesterday, Thursday, December 17, to instead agree to a complete new build with the construction of a state-of-the-art four storey building.

The move, to go to public consultation next year, was warmly welcomed by councillors representing the Tweeddale East ward, who fully endorsed the educational sea-change.

Councillor Stuart Bell said: “The overriding impression I have of the school is that decade after decade new structures have been tacked on to older ones in a sort of historical lego build.

“That set up an easy route for a fire to start quickly and with devastating effect. Now is the right time to start again.”

Council leader Shona Haslam concurred, saying: “I am pleased we have gone back to the drawing board on this.

“When you visit the Jedburgh Campus you are immediately struck by the light in the building and how open and welcoming it is and how much of the natural environment can be found inside the building and this is to be mirrored in this building, creating such a warm and welcoming atmosphere.”

Councillor Robin Tatler described the report as “really nice Christmas present to the school community after what has been an horrendous year”.