New school plans submitted

The new Kelso High School design
The new Kelso High School design

The design of the new Kelso High School will see classrooms built over three floors in one large single building, including indoor PE facilities.

External sports facilities include a 3G rugby pitch, a 2G hockey pitch, a grass playing field and running track.

The council submitted the planning application for the new £21.8million school at the end of last week.

The submission comes after a land purchase agreement between the council and landowners Lothian Estates for the ground at Nethershot on Angraflat Road was concluded in March.

A series of community drop-in sessions are expected in the coming months to provide updates on the project.

Councillor Sandy Aitchison, SBC’s executive member for education, said: “The submission of the planning application brings a new Kelso High School another step closer.

“With a land purchase agreement already in place, I am pleased to see the project progressing and look forward to a brand new facility which will provide an improved learning environment for generations of Kelso children.”

Paul McGirk, chief executive of the council’s development partner, Hub South East Scotland Ltd, added: “We are delighted with the progress being made on this project in partnership with the council.

“Pupils and staff will benefit from modern, fit-for-purpose facilities and the community will benefit from investment in the local area. We look forward to making these plans a reality.”

Hub South East Scotland has appointed Morrison Construction as contractor to build the school, which will feature large central dining and assembly areas.

A design statement submitted with the plan says: “The school teaching block design is based on the learning hub concept which organises the school’s teaching spaces as a ‘wrap’ around an open central atrium ‘heart space’.

“This successfully combines teaching, learning and social spaces and provides a focus for the entire school community.”

The new school will include a ‘sizeable’ pupil support department, including a sensory room, drop-in rooms and what is termed an ‘Additional Needs Group Rooms’.

Following discussions with the council, the English classrooms on the top floor have been grouped together and designed with folding partitions to allow the rooms to be opened up to provide an exam room for up to 120 pupils, which will ensure that the assembly hall and games hall will be usable during exam time.

The PE facility includes a four-court large games hall with a smaller gymnasium and fitness room.