School upgrade a step closer

An artist's impression of the extension

An artist's impression of the extension

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A much-needed extension to Corstorphine Primary School is a step closer after plans were submitted to the city council.

Under the proposals a two-storey extension would be created to the rear of the school, providing three new classrooms and allowing the school to stop using temporary accommodation which has been described as being of “poor quality”.

Temporary classrooms have been needed to help the school meet the requirements of its catchment area, but education chiefs have frequently flagged up the “accommodation issues” at the school.

The catchment population in Corstorphine has been increasing in recent years, and current projections estimate the school will need to increase its current capacity of 16 classes to 18 to cope with the expected influx of new pupils.

As well as slightly increasing capacity, the new extension will allow the school to create a single integrated building for all year groups, which is expected to reduce the maintenance and running costs associated with temporary accommodation.

The plans include the creation of three classrooms as well as a dining hall, kitchen, plant room, a general purpose room and a care facility.

There will also be a new activity space, while the project will also see a new platform lift in the existing building and a chair lift on the first floor to bring the school into line with disability requirements.

Local Liberal Democrat councillor Paul Edie hailed the move. “This is a very welcome step and as well as the extra classroom it will provide a new dining space which is badly needed at the school as currently it is a real struggle for the facilities to cope with the number of pupils,” he said.

“I’m really pleased with these plans, and the school parent council has been closely consulted and are also happy with what has been proposed.”

The building has also been designed to accommodate a solar thermal panel on the roof which could be incorporated at a later date.

Corstorphine Primary School is part of a international initiative run by Eco-Schools Scotland, which recognises the work schools do to improve the environment. The school is currently working towards a green flag award, and the extension plans also include an area of space to be set aside for a 30ft flagpole at the south gates to the school.

Corstorphine Primary has 75 registered catchment pupils, but can only accommodate a maximum of 60. The council’s current policy is to prioritise requests for Corstorphine catchment pupils who want to go to a school elsewhere in the city.

If the plans are approved it is hoped work on the extension would be completed by 2013.

gedwards@edinburghnews.com