New school now open

Councillor Sandy Aitchison cuts the ribbon with primary seven pupils Natasha Thorp and Rory Darling
Councillor Sandy Aitchison cuts the ribbon with primary seven pupils Natasha Thorp and Rory Darling

West Linton’s new £9m primary school welcomed pupils through its doors for the first time this week after it was officially opened.

Scottish Borders Council executive member for education, Councillor Sandy Aitchsion (Galashiels & District, BP) did the honours together with primary seven pupils Natasha Thorp and Rory Darling when it came to the cutting of the ribbon at the school entrance on Monday.

The school boasts 12 spacious classrooms, a nursery, library, gym, multi use games facility (MUGA), and football pitch.

Members of West Linton Pipe Band piped pupils and staff from the old school to the new one.

Councillor Aitchison said the state-of-the-art school would benefit children in the West Linton area for years to come.

“The council has invested a significant amount of money in these first-class facilities, which will provide an excellent learning environment for the pupils who are incredibly excited about their new surroundings,” he said.

Headteacher Hilary Elliott added: “We are delighted to be moving into our new school building today.

“The children had high expectations regarding what they wanted their new school to provide and they communicated their ideas clearly at the beginning of the process.

“They said they wanted a bigger school with bigger classrooms, more smartboards and lots of natural light; they wanted a library, bigger cloakrooms, a bigger playground and a football pitch they could access every day.

“The children have got what they asked for and they, and all staff, now look forward to enjoying the many benefits this wonderful new learning environment provides.”

After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, pupils and staff headed straight into an assembly, to which guests and members of the media were also invited.

Following refreshments, guests were given a tour of the new building, with primary seven pupils acting as guides.

The school, which was designed by Archial and built by Robertson Construction, is designed to take between 400 and 460 pupils (excluding nursery pupils).

The12 classrooms, nursery, community hall, library and support accommodation are arranged around a curved central street with the teaching blocks ‘fingers’ off this.

The use of natural stone, timber and zinc means the building sits well with the adjacent historic village centre, while the use of laminated timber maximises the use of local renewable materials.

An open day for the local community will be held on Saturday, from 10am to 2pm.