Elgin High trio help build their future

Craig, Jake and Rowan with site manager Iain Mackie.  Picture: Contributed
Craig, Jake and Rowan with site manager Iain Mackie. Picture: Contributed
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THREE teenagers have been taking a break from their studies – to help oversee the building of their new school.

Once a week Jake Innes, Craig Alexander and Rowan Duncan leave the classroom for work experience on the construction site of the £29million Elgin High School.

It is only a short commute - for the replacement campus is going up right next door to the existing school where they are currently in S5.

The boys, all 16, are being given an insight into the construction industry by Balfour Beatty, the main contractors for the replacement school project.

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While the rest of their year group are busy on class work only a stone’s-throw away, Jake, Craig and Rowan have been getting to grips with plans and drawings for their new school.

They have also been gaining experience at the sharp end of the contract by observing and learning about the various aspects of the construction process, including scaffolding, steelwork, concrete pouring, roofing, pipe fitting, fire proofing, bricklaying and health and safety.

The experience could prove especially useful to Jake, who has ambitions to be a structural engineer, and Rowan, who has designs on becoming an architect. Craig hopes to go on to become a mechanical engineer.

All three are enjoying following progress on the building of the new school where they will be studying by this time next year provided they stay on to S6.

And they are all agreed that it will be a vast improvement on the existing school, which dates from the late 1970s

“It has been really interesting going over the plans and going out on site to see the work that is going on,” said Jake. “What makes it even more interesting is that it is our own new school.”

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There are generally six or seven separate contractors on site at any time, with a total workforce of around 70.

Work is progressing well on both the main school building and on the adjacent sports hall.

Construction began in March and is on schedule for completion next October.

Once pupils have moved in, demolition will begin on the existing school building to make way for a 3G sports pitch, car parking and landscaping.