It is part of a £1.25 billion investment by the Scottish Government which will see the construction of 67 new schools across the country by March 2018.
The figure includes an extra 12 schools which will be built under the third and final phase of Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme, after an additional £80 million was brought forward in last week’s budget.
Mr Russell said: “Providing the best possible school accommodation is vital to the successful delivery of Curriculum for Excellence. The first two phases of Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme are already lifting thousands of pupils out of poor quality buildings.
“We have met every local authority’s request for priority builds and added an extra 12 schools to the programme because of the Scottish Futures Trust’s vigorous commitment to value for money. More schools are being built, and faster, but for the same level of investment as originally planned.”
However, Michael Levack, chief executive of the Scottish Building Federation, said: “Of course, we welcome the commitment the finance secretary has made to bring forward £80 million of funding for new schools through the Scottish Government’s non-profit distribution model. But it’s worth noting that this funding has been accelerated into the 2014-15 budget so will have no impact on spending over the next financial year. Given how badly construction firms are suffering at the moment, we need to do more to get more shovels into the ground right now – not in 18 months’ time.”