Council approves ambitious school building project

Wednesday September 27th 2017

Gore Glen Primary

Gore Glen Primary one of the recent schools built in Midlothian is an exampe of the new school buildings to come.

Midlothian is to embark on an ambitious school building and extension programme to tackle current and future capacity challenges and to ensure pupils are learning in world-class facilities.

At the full council meeting on Tuesday, councillors approved 17 recommendations including plans to progress a new, two stream primary in Easthouses and a replacement for Lasswade Primary.

The cabinet member for education, Councillor Jim Muirhead said:

“Midlothian has set out it’s ambition to deliver a world class education for our children and young people. The Learning Estate Strategy gives the council clear direction in the short, medium and long term. “

The 17 recommendations approved for the short term, up to 2023 are to:

– Build a three stream replacement Danderhall Primary School, as agreed by Council in February 2017, required for August 2020.

– Build a new two stream primary school in Dalkeith with the capacity to extend to three stream, required for August 2019.

– Build a new two stream primary in Easthouses to be located on the old Newbattle High School site, required for August 2019.

– Bring the capacity of Newtongrange Primary School up to two stream, required for August 2021.

– Expand Burnbrae Primary School to three stream by building additional capacity at the school campus on Rosewell Road, as approved by Council on 29 August 2017, planned for August 2019.

– Enhance core facilities, such as toilets and changing facilities, at Lasswade High School to provide capacity for 1,600 pupils, required immediately.

– Build a new primary school in Bonnyrigg on Hopefield Farm 2 housing development site (Hs12), required for 2022.

– Build a three stream replacement Lasswade Primary School on a new site, required for 2023.

– Extend Rosewell Primary School from single stream to a two stream primary school, required for 2022.

– Extend and refurbish Sacred Heart Primary School, including early years’ expansion.

– Extend Cuiken Primary School to two stream.

– Present a report to Council when a potential site has been identified for a secondary school along the A701.

– Extend and adapt Penicuik High School .

– Extend Bilston Primary School to two stream, required by 2023.

– Build a new primary school at Auchendinny to replace Glencorse Primary School, required by 2023.

– Extend Strathesk Primary School, one class extension, required for 2022.

– Progress the review of denominational school provision across Midlothian and bring a report back to Council early in 2018.

In addition, there is a plan to look to build a new secondary school in Gorebridge by around 2024.

Council agreed on the short term strategy and asked officers to do further work on the financial implications of the short term strategy so that these can be considered as part of the Council’s Capital Strategy and General Service Capital Plan report expected to be presented to Council in November 2017.

Council officers will continue to work on the medium term actions which are required from 2023 and will bring a further report on the medium term actions back to Council in the autumn of 2018.

The detailed report, presented to the council meeting, with very interesting figures on new housing development which is driving the need to build schools can be found HERE.

The total indicative capital cost of providing all the additional primary and secondary school capacity identified in the learning estate strategy is estimated at £290 million. Developer contributions will be available to fund a significant proportion of this expenditure, this is currently estimated to be in the region of £190 million. Accordingly the remaining £100 million would need to be funded by prudential borrowing or by securing additional funding from Government, for example “The schools for the future programme”.

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