South Scotland

New Kelso High School works set to get under way

Kelso High School Image copyright Scottish Borders Council
Image caption It is hoped the new school can open in autumn next year

Work is set to begin on a new multi-million pound secondary school in the Borders after a lengthy delay.

Scottish Borders Council had hoped to begin construction of the £22.5m Kelso High School scheme last summer.

However, it was one of a number of projects put on hold following a European ruling over funding. The issue was eventually resolved in November.

A sod-cutting ceremony was staged at the site ahead of the construction phase which begins on Monday.

Head boy and girl Charlie Bisset and Katie Best were joined by 12 pupils from the six primaries which make up the Kelso High cluster area - Broomlands, Edenside, Ednam, Morebattle, Sprouston and Yetholm.

Image copyright Scottish Borders Council
Image caption Head boy and girl Charlie Bisset and Katie Best carried out a sod-cutting ceremony at the site

The building will be able to accommodate 780 pupils. Facilities will include 3G sports and 2G hockey pitches, a sprint track, long jump pit and netball court.

An eco-garden pond is included in the plans, alongside space for an orchard, allotment, outdoor classroom and an arts and craft garden.

A new library and gym will also be part of the project.

'Historic moment'

Councillor Sandy Aitchison, Scottish Borders Council's executive member for education, said: "This is a historic and exciting moment for Kelso.

"There is a long tradition of education in the Kelso area, with the current high school building on Bowmont Street serving generations of pupils well.

"However, it is now almost 80 years old, which is why the council decided to take forward this project.

"There has been a long wait to get to this stage, but the sporting and educational facilities that will be offered for pupils and the community at the new high school will create a tremendous environment for all."

The school is expected to open in autumn 2017.

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