Gym where Keane Wallis-Bennett killed is torn down

The gym at Liberton High is demolished Picture: Malcolm McCurrach
The gym at Liberton High is demolished Picture: Malcolm McCurrach
0
Have your say

THE mother of the schoolgirl killed when a wall collapsed on her has said pupils at Liberton High School will be relieved after bulldozers moved in.

Demolition crews have begun tearing down the school gym where 12-year-old Keane Wallis-Bennett was killed six months ago.

Prior to the tragic accident, it had been reported that the wall was “wobbly” for months.

Today, her mum, Abbie Wallis, revealed that she did not even know the work was about to begin.

But she said there would be “relief” that the reminders of the horror would be gone.

Ms Wallis, 34, said: “We are still trying to come with terms with what has happened.

“I think for the children they will be pleased.

“It’s hard to say how I feel about it. I can’t think properly.

Keane suffered multiple injuries when a free standing modesty wall fell on top of her as she changed for a physical education lesson on April 1.

The Health and Safety Executive is continuing its investigation into her death while Edinburgh City Council has pledged £2.5 million to build a new gym at the school, to which the Scottish Government will contribute £1.6m

Demolition was delayed to allow the probe into her death to continue at the site.

The council also said a permanent memorial was planned as well as a new extension to the PE block.

Paul Godzik, the city council’s education convener, earlier revealed that the overwhelming view from staff at the school, parents and the local community is that the gym should be demolished.

He said the accident had a “devastating” effect on the community and revealed discussions about a suitable memorial at the school for Keane were continuing.

Liberton High, which was built in 1959, was closed while safety checks were conducted.

As a result of Keane’s death, structural examinations took place at other schools in the city.

The council has said it cannot afford to bring the city’s “crumbling schools” up to scratch without Scottish Government help.

Ms Wallis, who had earlier welcomed plans to flatten the building, previously talked about how difficult it had been to accept her daughter’s death.

She said her room had not been changed and that the family still said “goodnight” to her.

She also revealed that she had made regular pilgrimages to the site where Keane died. Hundreds of classmates, friends and family attended her funeral and her coffin was filled with treats, including chocolates, false nails, cards and a teddy bear.