New schools: Plans to progress for Gala, Hawick and Peebles

PLANS to replace three schools in the Borders could take a step forward next week.

Members of Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Committee are set to consider asking the Scottish Government for funding.

A report, created for the committee, estimates a sum of £95.5 million will be needed to replace Galashiels Academy (£55.5 million) and redevelop Peebles High School (£40 million).

The report also informs the committee that the Scottish Government is being updated on plans to redevelop Hawick High School at a cost of £48.4m and with an expected opening of 2026/7.

The council’s executive member for children and young people, Carol Hamilton, said: “Our aim is to create community learning environments which are of the highest quality and are as environmentally sustainable as possible.”

The Executive Committee will meet on Tuesday, October 6.

The planned redevelopment of Peebles High comes after the fire which destroyed parts of the school on November 28 last year.

Plans for a redevelopment project at Selkirk High School are ongoing but, according to the council, they “are not as advanced as the three other secondary schools”.

Council leader Shona Haslam said: “The council has a track record of improving our school estate, with the most recent example being the opening of the fantastic new Jedburgh Campus in August.

“This report highlights the progress made to date with our plans for new secondary schools, with a focus on Galashiels, Peebles and Hawick at this time.

“Further engagement with all local communities and councillors is vital and full consultations will be taking place in each area as we progress to ensure their voices are heard.”

The council aims to run its school redevelopment projects alongside the Fit for 2024 programme which asks that each development provides other community services.

This would see the local authority continue its work with Live Borders, which would manage community facilities at the new school campuses.

Ms Hamilton added: “We want to ensure we provide quality learning opportunities and experiences that will enable our children, young people and communities to achieve their potential.

“Creating these new secondary schools, alongside the progression of the Learning Estate Strategy, are both absolutely crucial to achieving this aim, and I look forward to further discussions with local communities and councillors to help shape these plans further.”

Border Telegraph | News