New Portobello High School gets the green light

Plans to build a new high school in Portobello were approved today by councillors on the city's planning committee.

Set on parkland beside Portobello Golf Course, the development will include the latest teaching facilities, a 25-metre swimming pool and all weather sports pitches which will be accessible to the entire community.

The £41.5m project - which is fully funded by the Council - is set for completion by January 2014.

City Education Leader Cllr Marilyne MacLaren said:

"This is great news for Portobello and even better news for education in the city.  We are committed to investing in the best possible facilities for young people and for the communities where they live.

"A school should sit at the heart of a community so we've involved pupils, school staff and the people of Portobello in the design process. 

"With modern teaching facilities, top quality sports facilities and community resources all in a parkland setting, I'm confident that the people of Portobello will have a school to be proud of and excited about."

Peigi MacArthur, Head Teacher at Portobello High School, said:

"Staff, pupils and local people have enjoyed close involvement in the development of designs and have been supported by a terrific team of people from within the Council and beyond.

"We have also taken part in a professional debate about learning and teaching and about the new curriculum because we recognise the importance of making decisions on behalf of future generations of staff, pupils and community.

"The school and our community can benefit hugely from this development. These are exciting times and I'm thrilled for the whole school community that this decision has been taken."

The procurement process is already underway and it's expected that a report will be presented to Council in early Autumn recommending what contractor should be awarded the contract. It is anticipated that work will begin on site shortly afterwards.   

The school will be built using a 'village' model designed to have minimal impact on its surroundings.  Access to existing park areas will be improved and sports facilities will be on-site.  

New all-weather pitches will allow the school to meet requirements for curricular PE without wasting valuable class time travelling to other facilities in Edinburgh. 

The local community will be able to access sports facilities as well as classrooms and performance areas in the evening and at weekends.




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