Bid to rebuild dilapidated Edinburgh school

Queensferry High School. Pic: comp
Queensferry High School. Pic: comp
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A CRUMBLING school could be torn down and replaced with state-of-the-art facilities costing £29 million as part of a new bid for government funding.

Proposals will be submitted by the city council for a replacement Queensferry High School to be built as part of the Schools for the Future programme.

Councillor Andrew Burns, city council leader, said: “With the new Portobello High School building going forward, I think it’s good that we’re planning ahead.

“I’m hoping and I’m optimistic that this report will get through the council next week, we will put the bid in to the Scottish Government, and it is agreed. That would mean we have the next round of schools in the pipeline.”

School buildings had to be showing major defects or ­serious risk of failure to be considered for a cash injection from the £1 billion pot, leaving the city council with the choice of two schools – Queensferry High School and the Wester Hailes Education Centre (WHEC).

Queensferry High School was chosen due to its size, as it has a capacity for 1000 pupils, with 751 pupils on the school roll for 2014-15.

Cllr Burns said: “All this shows that despite all its ­challenges, the school estate overall is in comparatively good condition compared with the rest of Scotland.”

The estimated costs for delivering the new school would be £29,809,900.

It is hoped the project would receive more than £18m of government funding, leaving a funding gap of around £11m which would then have to be filled by the council using the various capital grants it has access to.

This news comes as part of a wider commitment to plug the funding gap in school repairs in the city, as Edinburgh plans to start a fourth wave of introducing further ­money into its schools.

Areas receiving funding will include Craigmillar, which will get a new secondary school, and assessments of primary schools across the city such as Abbeyhill, Holy Cross and Stenhouse.

Cllr Burns said: “What we’re trying to do is get a set of ­criteria and conditions agreed for the next wave of school improvements.

“I’m going to try my best to ensure we have all-party ­agreement on these criteria so that we don’t have unnecessarily political arguments about which school goes where in the rankings.”

The proposal will be discussed next week by the city council.