Plan for ‘floating classroom’ at Boroughmuir canal

An artist's impression of the new waterside Boroughmuir
An artist's impression of the new waterside Boroughmuir
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A “FLOATING classroom” is to be launched next to the new Boroughmuir High under radical plans being drawn up by canal architects.

Bosses at Scottish Canals have put together proposals for the construction of moorings next to the award-winning secondary school’s state-of-the-art campus on the former Fountain Brewery site.

They want to take advantage of the development’s canalside location and create a “floating education resource”.

Proposals for the pioneering facility – thought to be the first of its kind in Scotland and set be built alongside a new boat-launching site – are at an early stage, but they have already sparked excitement among the Capital’s watersport fans.

In an official response to the city council’s consultation on plans for a new school, leaders at Scottish Canals said the water-borne teaching spot would benefit pupils for generations to come.

Their submission states: “We would support the provision of moorings outside the school area to facilitate a floating education resource for the city.

“This would help to nurture understanding of the rich environment that the canal offers and help to bring the Curriculum for Excellence alive.”

Moves towards a floating classroom come after city planning chiefs rubber-stamped designs for Boroughmuir High’s new campus, which will house up to 1165 pupils.

Among the cutting-edge features which will be offered are a rooftop games area, multi-functional atrium and classrooms with quick access to collaborative “break-out” spaces.

Canoeists have welcomed proposals for a floating classroom and boating activities – but they urged the council and Scottish Canals to ensure members of the public are not squeezed out.

Alistair Riddell, secretary of the Forth Canoe Club, which previously expressed interest in delivering a “new joint facility” at the school’s Fountainbridge site, said: “I would hope that they take into account existing canal users but I’m happy to see use is being made of the space.”

City education bosses said they were open-minded about ideas aimed at maximising use of the new Boroughmuir’s location.

Councillor Paul Godzik, education leader, said: “Boroughmuir has a first-class academic track record, and the focus is now firmly on delivering a new school that provides an equally impressive learning environment.

“We welcome discussion with Scottish Canals about how pupils in the city can make best use of this waterway in the future.”

Work on a replacement campus for Boroughmuir High – named Scottish state secondary of the year in 2012 – is set to get under way this summer, with the building due to open to pupils in 2016.