Images show new Portobello High plans

An artist's impression of the new Portobello High interior. Picture: comp
An artist's impression of the new Portobello High interior. Picture: comp
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THEY are the kind of facilities that pupils at the city’s crumbling Portobello High School could only dream about.

New images have been released showing how the interior of the new high school will look when building work is complete – and there’s not a leaky radiator in sight.

Structured around a central thoroughfare or “spine”, the 17,000sq m campus – which will replace the school’s dilapidated 1960s premises – is set to feature linking bridges, “sculptural” roof lights, cutting-edge computing pods and public walls capable of functioning as projection screens.

Design teams said their aim was to create a contemporary setting that would function as a “canvas” for pupils’ work while also cementing the school’s strong sense of community.

Deborah McKay, of JM Architects, who worked on the designs, said: “The school has a very wide catchment area and takes pupils from a wide social spectrum. The main idea for us in putting these designs together was communication and transparency.”

Ms McKay said the new building would divide along a central corridor, with classrooms and break-out teaching spaces housed in a series of wings on one side and all-school venues such as the library and assembly hall located on the other.

“Most things in the school will be in black and white, with only a bit of colour,” she said. “The idea is that the children’s work provides the colour.”

Parent representatives said they were delighted with the new designs. Emma Wood, Portobello High parent council member and lecturer in media and communication at Queen Margaret University, said: “It really echoes the design of the new campus at the university and I’ve seen first-hand how that impacts in a very positive way on student learning.”

Education chiefs said the designs reflected their ambition to deliver the “best school possible”.

Councillor Paul Godzik, education leader, said: “I know people in Portobello will be very excited by these images and in seeing the project move forward. It’s fantastic to see images of the inside of the building – they give a real glimpse of the council’s ambition.”