Bulldozers set to raze former Earlston High

The old Earlston High School
The old Earlston High School

Demolition work is to start at the former Earlston High School early next month, it has been announced by Scottish Borders Council.

Hunter Demolition, a well established specialist contractor, has been appointed by the local authority to undertake the works which are expected to last around 12 weeks.

The programme will see the removal of the former main building, gym halls and associated annex block.

SBC’s Executive Member for Roads and Infrastructure, Councillor Gordon Edgar, said demolition of the disused school will mark the end of an era for the many people who were educated at the school and who worked there.

“However, it also marks an opportunity to see the site come back into use and play a different role in community life,” he added.

But there is some disappointment that a possible community use for the old secondary, which has lain empty since the new replacement £28m school opened in 2009, could not be found.

Former local councillor, John Paton-Day, told The Southern this week: “I, along with a number of Earlston groups, would have preferred to have had the chance to use some of the old school as a community facility, but with the lack of finances and difficulties in conversion, and the lack of will to support such an idea by our councillors, it is not to be.

“The Earlston Community Development Trust has carried out a great deal of research over the past years with regards to who would use a facility and it was evident that there is a need.

“It’s sad to see the old school go as it would have been a great asset to the community if parts were used by the many existing local groups.

“However, I know the community will not give up on acquiring a facility to serve the people of Earlston.”