it will take more than a year to become a reality, but the first symbolic step to create a new £9million replacement school in West Linton was taken this week.
Pupils, teachers, Scottish Borders Council and the construction company were all represented on Tuesday when the first sod was cut to mark the start of the 60-week project in the Peeblesshire village.
The existing cramped primary, with its roll of 237 and serving a burgeoning commuter-driven community of 1,500, is close to the former farmland site where a 12-classroom school, capable of accommodating between 400 and 460 pupils, will be built by the Robertson Construction Group.
It will be the last primary to be completed in a £33million new build and renovation programme approved by SBC in 2007 to address the worst examples of schools which were deemed not fit for purpose in a major review of the school estate.
To date, that programme has delivered new schools at Kingsland in Peebles, Lauder and Denholm, along with extensive refurbishments at Halyrude – on the site of the former Kingsland – Earlston and Tweedbank.
A new school to replace Caddonfoot is currently under construction in Clovenfords near Galashiels and is due for completion in the coming weeks.
At Monday’s ceremony, West Linton head teacher Hilary Elliot observed: “It’s wonderful that our children will be able to watch from the playground and see their new school grow day by day.”