Work starts on new Portobello High School

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WORK is finally underway on the construction of a new Portobello High School.

Teacher Peigi McArthur was joined by pupils Tom Goddard, Molly Graham, Arbaaz Aslam and Milly Spence Fraser as the first sod of land was cut in Portobello Park.

Tom Goddard, Molly Graham, Peigi McArthur, Arbaaz Aslam and Milly Spence Fraser. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Tom Goddard, Molly Graham, Peigi McArthur, Arbaaz Aslam and Milly Spence Fraser. Picture: Ian Rutherford

The long-awaited event brought to an end two years of dispute over the site between members of the local community.

The first piece was cut by council leader Andrew Burns and education convener Paul Godzik, before workers moved in to start clearing trees from the area of constriction.

When completed in two years, the new school will become the council’s largest secondary school with space for 1400 pupils.

In addition to providing state-of-the-art teaching facilities, the school will have both indoor and outdoor sports facilities, including a swimming pool and two all-weather pitches.

Local residents will be able to book the sports pitches free of charge as part of compensation measures put in place to replace the loss of the park while a new £1 million park will be built on the existing school site.

Cllr Godzik said: “This is a key milestone in the Portobello project and many people in the local area will be delighted to see work finally starting on their new high school.

“Rebuilding Portobello High School is one of the Capital coalition’s highest priorities.

“I look forward to seeing the new school which will open its doors to pupils in August 2016.”