‘Temporary’ classrooms pulled down – after 40 years

Current and former pupils and parents outside a hut at South Morningside Primary. Picture: Malcolm McCurrach
Current and former pupils and parents outside a hut at South Morningside Primary. Picture: Malcolm McCurrach
0
Have your say

THEY were first built as temporary teaching blocks – and are still being used 40 years later. Now parents at one of the Capital’s most overcrowded primary schools are celebrating after education chiefs confirmed that decaying huts which hosted classes for infant pupils would be torn down this week.

Mums and dads at South Morningside Primary said the ageing buildings – which sit in the playground and date back to the 1970s – had been a source of anger, amid concerns children were left freezing cold in winter and sweltering in summer.

There were also fears over the spread of disease due to large numbers of pupils sharing limited toilet facilities.

Demolition comes after youngsters moved to a £670,000 annexe at Deanbank Resource Centre in Canaan Lane.

Michael Wilson, 45, whose five-year-old daughter is being taught at Deanbank, said the sight of the huts being torn down would come as a relief to families.

He said: “Obviously this is a good thing, but it should have happened years ago – they’re really showing their age.

“We’re full to the gunnels – it’s a disgrace. But it’s good to have tangible evidence that we are now moving forward.

“I would say things are going very well at the Deanbank annexe. They have a proper playground there, and a proper kitchen. It’s certainly an improvement on what we had before at a school bursting at the seams.”

South Morningside currently has a roll of more than 600 in a building designed for 14 classes and is one of a group of schools facing acute accommodation pressure.

City bosses are considering a range of long-term measures to create extra space, including proposals for a new £15 million primary which would be the Capital’s first since the late 1970s.

They said they were determined to deliver improved accommodation at South Morningside as quickly as ­possible.

Councillor Paul Godzik, education leader, said: “The need for a new annexe and a desire to remove the old huts was raised with me when I was a council candidate back in 2007.

“So I’m delighted that we are able to progress this and have been able to provide new and expanded accommodation, while removing the huts.

“There has been a significant improvement to the facilities available at the school and the play space available to children. There’s now far more space available to each individual child, whether they are at the new annexe or the old school.”

Earlier this year, South Morningside was named best state primary in Scotland by society magazine Tatler.

johnpaul.holden@edinburghnews.com