Construction work starts on new Portobello High School
After many years of planning, and obstacles along the way, construction work is starting on Edinburgh's new Portobello High School.
The new school is going ahead after the City of Edinburgh Council successfully took a Private Bill to the Scottish Parliament allowing it to appropriate Portobello Park for educational purposes.
The new school will become the Council’s largest secondary school with space for 1,400 pupils. In addition to providing state of the art teaching facilities, the school will have both indoor and outdoor sports facilities, including a swimming pool and two all weather pitches , enabling all curricular PE to be provided on site, rather than have pupils bussed off site as currently happens.
The local community will also benefit from the new facilities which will be open for community use outside school hours, with local residents able to book the sports pitches free of charge as part of compensation measures put in place to replace the loss of the park. Another compensation measure will see a new £1million park built on the existing school site.
Councillor Paul Godzik, Convener of Education, Children and Families at the Council, said: “This is a key milestone in the Portobello project and many people in the local area will be delighted to see work finally starting on their new high school. Rebuilding Portobello High School is one of the Capital Coalition’s highest priorities and we were determined to ensure we met this commitment. I look forward to seeing the new school which will open its doors to pupils in August 2016.
Murray Easton, Balfour Beatty Regional Managing Director for Scotland, said: “We are delighted to be starting construction of the new Portobello High School. We look forward to continuing to work with the City of Edinburgh Council to deliver a state-of-the-art school with educational facilities that give people the best opportunities to both teach and learn. During the construction period we will engage with the local community to keep them updated with the progress of the works and to deliver community benefit targets leaving a lasting legacy for the area.”