UPDATED: Townsfolk to have their say on the future of the existing Hawick High School

A new £48m Hawick High School will not only bolster educational achievement it will also reduce disruption and bad behaviour, according to town provost Watson McAteer.

By Paul Kelly
Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 2:22 pm
Town Provost Watson McAteer. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)
Town Provost Watson McAteer. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

The green light has been given for a new state-of-the art complex to be built on an area ground between the adjacent cricket club and the older school buildings.

Uncertainty remains over how much, if any, of the existing 1860-built school can be retained.

But Councillor McAteer is confident a much-improved school environment will have a transformative impact.

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A concept design of how the new High School might look. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

He said: “The concept design for the new school is likely to change, however, it gives an impression of what it might look like. This is fantastic and just what Hawick’s youngsters need to secure their future and to place them on an equal footing with their Borders neighbours.

"I am confident that the new school in a fresh, open environment will make a significant difference both at an educational level but also socially, making significant inroads to reduce disruption and bad behaviour.

“There will now be wider consultation in terms of the design and importantly what is to happen to the 1860 original school building and its Henderson Technical building annex. Whatever the outcome it is vital that the High School and its environs become a Hawick campus accessible to the entire community.”

A community consultation exercise will be undertaken throughout the remainder of 2021 both online and in-person to gather the views of the wider community and present the initial proposals in full.

Town Provost Watson McAteer. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

The plan is to build it in one single phase, with the existing school remaining operational throughout, to minimise disruption to students and deliver the finished building in the quickest timescale.

Benefits of the proposed site would include continued access to the adjacent synthetic 3G and 2G sports pitches at Volunteer Park along with ongoing access to the established access arrangements at the Common Haugh for bus travel to and from the school.

Under the current proposals, on completion of the new building, a follow-on phase would see the old school buildings demolished and a new public entrance plaza created.