City reveals plans for rooftop football pitch at new Boroughmuir High

The proposal for a rooftop pitch aims to address a shortage of space at the proposed Fountainbridge site
The proposal for a rooftop pitch aims to address a shortage of space at the proposed Fountainbridge site
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MANY teams have blamed high altitude for affecting their football performance on their travels.

But visitors to the new Boroughmuir High School will need to have a head for heights if they are to have any chance of beating the home team.

Council bosses are considering equipping the new school with a rooftop all-weather pitch to deal with the limited outdoor space at the new site.

The authority hopes to build the school on the site of the former Fountain Brewery after Lloyds Banking Group accepted its bid for the land.

Despite one of the major drawbacks of the school’s current site at Viewforth being a lack of sports facilities, it has emerged that the new site will have some similar constraints.

In a bid to combat the problem, plans for the rooftop seven-a-side pitch are being investigated.

However, concerns have been raised about compromising on sports facilities at the new site, and the “practicalities” of the rooftop pitch.

Labour councillor Eric Barry, whose Fairmilehead ward takes in the Boroughmuir catchment area, said: “Boroughmuir was built more than 100 years ago when there were plenty of green spaces nearby.

“I’m keen to see sporting facilities at the new school but it feels as though they have been forgotten about.

“We shouldn’t be building the minimum standard just because the school it replaces is over 100 years old.

“The rooftop pitch is something, but they’re going to have to put an enormously high cage round it otherwise pupils will have to run down five flights of stairs every time their ball goes over.

“I do wonder about the practicalities of it. I want to see as many sports facilities as possible at the new site, as do representatives of the parent council.”

In response to the concerns raised by Cllr Barry about the potential lack of facilities, council leader Jenny Dawe said: “Of course, we will try to ensure that sports facilities are as good as they can be, and though it seems ridiculous to have a football pitch on the roof, and I thought it was a joke at first, I am told that it does happen elsewhere.”

The plan to build a new Boroughmuir High will go out to public consultation and education chiefs hope to start the process in January.

Two options will be put on the table – the new-build school or a refurbishment of the current building.

A new school could be open by 2016, but an on-site refurbishment would take up to three years longer and would require a whole-school decant due to the “extensive nature” of the work.

Another downside to refurbishing the current building is the fact that “no outdoor sporting space can be achieved”.

Currently, Boroughmuir pupils are bussed off-site, which costs the council around £40,000 per year.

City education leader Cllr Marilyne MacLaren said: “It’s very early days and we’re still working on the master plan for the site but we’ll be considering all options and doing all we can to develop access to sports facilities and to maximise the potential of this fantastic site.”