Townsfolk jump at chance to visit Jedburgh’s new campus site

The campus in December 2018.
The campus in December 2018.

A small proportion of Jedburgh residents will be the first to see behind the scenes of ongoing building works at the town’s new intergenerational campus next month.

Townsfolk have already snapped up the 50 guided tour spaces on offer for Thursday, March 21, as part of this year’s Open Doors Day initiative which sees 14 of the largest construction sites across Scotland open to the public.

Waterside Road, Jedburgh, where trees have been felled to make way for road widening works for the new school.

Waterside Road, Jedburgh, where trees have been felled to make way for road widening works for the new school.

The Hartrigge Park facility, due to open in March 2020, was the first to completely ‘sell-out’ as residents rushed to secure a place last week.

The £32m campus will replace the town’s Jedburgh Grammar School and Parkside and Howdenburn primaries, providing educational and recreational facilities for all from toddlers to pensioners.

But those who missed out on a space next month need not worry as separate visits are being arranged for pupils and staff to the campus, which is being delivered by Scottish Borders Council, development partner Hub South East Scotland and appointed main contractor BAM Construction.

The Southern Reporter will also broadcast live on its Facebook page from the guided tour.

Community groups are also being invited to the existing Jedburgh Grammar School next Wednesday, February 27, from 4-7pm to discuss the facilities the new campus will offer.

BAM Construction says it will begin installing mechanical and electrical services throughout the building in the coming months.

Regional director Bruce Dickson, is looking forward to welcoming the public to the site next month.

“As members of BuildUK, we fully support Open Doors Day which is designed to change the public perception of the construction industry and what we do,” he said.

“Jedburgh Campus is perfect for this, being both a landmark community building in terms of design and purpose and also an exemplar construction site run by a superb team.

“We hope that all of our visitors will get an enjoyable and interesting insight into the world of construction and it will probably not be what they expect.”

Last month trees were felled at Forthill next to Waterside Road to make way for future works to widen the road there.

The new campus will have provision for nursery, primary and secondary school children, and community facilities will include a multi-use games area, 2G hockey pitch, 3G sports pitch, running track, external changing pavilion and rural skills area.

The funding for the new campus was confirmed by Deputy First Minister John Swinney in August 2017, as one of four projects to share £28m from the latest phase of the Scottish Government’s £1.8 billion ‘Schools for the Future’ programme.

Scottish Borders Council leader Shona Haslam, added: “There is real excitement building as we approach one year until the new Jedburgh campus opens.

“Engagement with the people of Jedburgh has been key to this project since its inception, and is continuing with the upcoming Open Doors Day event and the information session taking place for community groups, alongside the ongoing consultation to provide a name for the new campus.

“We are determined to continue to improve our school estate to ensure it is fit for purpose for our young people, staff and local communities.”

Earlier this year, around 80 suggestions were submitted for naming the new campus, and a longlist is now being formed to go before town and community councillors. They will create a shortlist for Jedburgh residents to vote upon this summer.

The name of the campus has already divided opinion, with various suggestions so far including Jedburgh Grammar School Campus, Jedforest Community Campus, Queen Mary’s Academy and a host of suggestions involving the town’s late celebrities – mathematician Mary Somerville, scientist David Brewster and Victoria Cross recipient John Daykins.

The council has confirmed that Grammary McGrammar School has not been included in the long list and that a branding exercise will take place once the new name is chosen.

A second consultation will also take place on school uniform in the future.