Councillors discuss the future of Danderhall Primary

Wednesday February 8th 2017

Danderhall Primary

A new school and community hub is one of two options to be considered to replace Danderhall Primary School.

At the full council meeting on Tuesday, councillors agreed that if a town centre site is secured for the planned Shawfair secondary school then Danderhall should be replaced with a new three stream school with a community hub. The issue will be brought before council at a later date for a final decision.

If, however, the Shawfair secondary school is to be located at Woolmet, then building a new three stream primary school to replace Danderhall is the best option.

Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for education, Councillor Bob Constable said: “The existing Danderhall building is old and expensive to maintain. Pupils numbers, meanwhile, are growing.

“We’ve been carrying out a feasibility study to determine the best way to tackle these issues and, it seems, there’s two options, depending on where the new secondary for Shawfair is built.

“If we manage to secure the preferred town centre site for the new Shawfair secondary then a new primary school in Danderhall integrated with other council facilities would create a new ‘community hub’, along similar lines as we’re currently building for the Paradykes replacement in Loanhead.

“If, however, Woolmet is progressed, then the new Shawfair secondary would be the better location for the community facilities.”

Both options would need to be completed by August 2020 to accommodate pupil numbers.

Labour proposed a motion which included replacing Danderhall at its current location as per option 2 and making the preferred option for the new secondary school hub to be Woolmet rather than Shawfair.

Both this motion and the recommendations, which has the preferred site for the secondary school at Shawfair, received nine votes each. The recommendation was carried after the Provost used his casting vote.

Councillors agreed to include £15,317,000 of capital costs within the capital plan to progress the plan for a school with community hub. This figure would drop to £12,742,000 if it is decided to build a new school at Danderhall with no community facilities.

Councillors were asked to note that £6,491,000 is expected to be recovered from developers and money will come from the future sale of Danderhall Leisure and Danderhall Library, once integrated into a new community hub.

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