Peebles High: Borders school takes next step in £46 million project after major fire destroys original building

Peebles High School has taken the next step in a multi-million pound rebuild of the facility, a year-and-a-half after a major fire at the site.

A public consultation has been launched by Scottish Borders Council to garner feedback on opinions on a new site and aesthetic of the building.

The council has marked £46 million for the project budget as per its capital plan, with architects Stallan Brand taken on as architects for the project, with extra consultancy work for a £368,000 contract.

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The firm’s website confirms: “The consultation will not focus on the operational design or internal look of the finished facility, both of which will be developed in a flexible and responsive way to support effective learning and teaching.

Borders school takes next step in £46 million projectBorders school takes next step in £46 million project
Borders school takes next step in £46 million project

"The consultation information outlines plans for the building to be built over two-storeys on the grounds of the existing school and explains the decision making behind the proposed look and feel of the facility, which has been heavily influenced by the surrounding Peebles area.”

Peebles’ new site is expected to be completed by August 2024 if planning permission is approved in September following the consultation.

Councillor Carol Hamilton, executive member for children and young people, said: “By replacing Peebles High School with a brand new, modern community campus, we will be able to meet the needs and aspirations of our young people by creating world-class education facilities, which also offer a wide range of community benefits.

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“We want to create a facility that recognises and celebrates the unique beauty of the Peebles area which can become a focal point for the surrounding area.

"Careful thought and consideration has been taken in designing a building that reflects the history of the town and blends in to its local environment.

“We are extremely keen to hear from as many people from the Peebles community as possible on the proposals.

"Your feedback is crucial in helping inform our decisions and develop a building that the people of Peebles can be proud of.”

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Online consultations will be held next month where designs for the new campus will be showcased.

The feedback will form part of the planning permission that will be submitted for the school around the end of next month.

A statement on the council website adds: “A timeline of 24 months has been outlined for the initial construction of the new school building.

As the project progresses, more consultations and plans will be made for the “internal design and feel of the campus.”

The high school was the site of a fire that did major damage to the building in November 2019.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland launched an investigation into the incident. Two boys were charged in December 2019 with wilful fire raising.

There was controversy at the time of the fire after questions were raised at the evacuation of children during the emergency.

The council sent out questionnaires to teachers a few weeks after the blaze and said at the time: “A full debrief process is underway into all aspects of the fire and until this is completed it wouldn’t be appropriate to comment further on individual details.”

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