Boroughmuir High: excitement grows as building takes shape

An artist's impression of the interior of the new Boroughmuir High School. Picture: Alan Murray Architects/Haa Design

An artist's impression of the interior of the new Boroughmuir High School. Picture: Alan Murray Architects/Haa Design

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FRESH images of how the new Boroughmuir High School will look have been released.

The pictures show the school’s atrium and entrance hall, giving families an advance taste of life at the £35 million campus on the bank of the Union Canal in Fountainbridge.

Artist's impression of how the new Boroughmuir High Scholl, at Fountainbridge, will look. Picture: Alan Murray Architects/Haa Design

Artist's impression of how the new Boroughmuir High Scholl, at Fountainbridge, will look. Picture: Alan Murray Architects/Haa Design

Construction work got under way in November 2014, when the first turf was cut.

Among Boroughmuir’s cutting-edge features will be the first rooftop football pitch in Scotland, a multi-function atrium and classrooms with quick access to collaborative “break-out” spaces. The new school – less than 500 metres away from the current building in Viewforth – was due to open its doors in August this year and will house up to 1165 pupils.

However, it emerged earlier last year that the building would be available for use two months later than expected after “challenging” foundation work slowed construction.

Concerns have also been raised that the new site will be too small for the highly regarded school, which has scooped a string of awards for educational achievement.

Artist's impression of how the new Boroughmuir High Scholl, at Fountainbridge, will look. Picture: Alan Murray Architects/Haa Design

Artist's impression of how the new Boroughmuir High Scholl, at Fountainbridge, will look. Picture: Alan Murray Architects/Haa Design

Opposition figures have welcomed signs of progress but said families would be anxious for confirmation there will be no further slippage in the construction timetable.

Green councillor Gavin Corbett, member for Foutainbridge and Craiglockhart, said: “Parents and pupils will be heartened to see what the finished building will look like because, at the moment, it still looks like it’s a long way off. There’s obviously a lot of work to do between now and September.

“I know parents have expressed some reservations about whether the school is large enough and whether the site is big enough.

“Only when it’s fully occupied will we know to what extent those misgivings are realised. But I think the main thing for now is to see the building completed and ready to use in time.”

Under construction: the new Boroughmuir High School building under construction. Picture: comp

Under construction: the new Boroughmuir High School building under construction. Picture: comp

The current Boroughmuir High was founded in 1904 and moved to Viewforth in 1913.

It grabbed sixth place in a list of Scotland’s top state secondaries that was published in 2014 – the only Capital school to feature.

Community leaders praised the images of Boroughmuir’s interior but said misgivings about the appearance and location of the new building had not been completely dispelled.

Mairianna Clyde, planning convener at Merchiston Community Council, said: “The atrium that they want to build looks lovely – but from other perspectives it looks pretty weak. “I have begun to gather that some parents have some disquiet about the new building. I’m not sure the people running the project are necessarily in tune with what local people think.”

City bosses said there was real excitement among pupils, teachers and parents.

Councillor Paul Godzik, education leader, said: “These latest images give everyone a real sense of what the inside of the new school will look like with its impressive atrium and entrance.

“The building is really starting to take shape now and I’m sure the staff, pupils and school community are really looking forward to moving in.”

He added: “Boroughmuir has a first-class academic track record, and we will be delivering a new school that provides an equally impressive learning environment.”

johnpaul.holden@edinburghnews.com