Yesterday afternoon (Monday), Fife councillors, council officials and local politicians gathered in St Andrews at the site of the new Madras College.
The new £50 million school, which is to be open for August 2021, has been a project 12 years in the making after the council committed to replacing the older school in 2007.
David McClure, rector of Madras College, said: “It is good to stand here today and see the shape of a new Madras take place before me. Six and a half years ago, I was transferred into Madras College. The very phrase ‘a new Madras College’ was heralded as a paradox.
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“And yet here we are today. All thanks to the perseverance of present company, not least of which are David Ross, David Alexander and Steven Grimmond and Carrie Lindsay as well as local government representatives and St Andrews Professor Sally Mapstone.
“Because of all these people, all the pupils and staff do now have a new college to look forward to and one which will deliver a secure education in the years to come. I sincerely hope and believe that the new Madras College will deliver for years to come.”
Council co-leader David Ross said: “I am pleased to be here today at what is a significant milestone in our journey towards creating a new Madras College.
“I would like to thank all those council officers, Vice Principle Mapstone and all the partners who have been involved in this project today to bring us to this point.
“I would particularly like to highlight the contributions made by former councillor Bryan Poole and current councillor Brian Thompson, who were absolutely instrumental in bringing the council and university back together again to negotiate the transfer of the Langlands site.
“From today, I hope we can now go forward in providing that modern, fit for purpose secondary school that is needed and deserved for the area that will serve pupils and communities across St Andrews and north east Fife for many years to come.”
Co-leader of the council David Alexander added: “This is fantastic. For all the education officers who have had to deal with the fire at Woodmill, this is special – doubly so for that. It’s just really fantastic.
“This school does wonders in terms of education and to see what will come out of here in a few years time is going to be wonderful.”
Convener of the education committee Fay Sinclair said: “It’s great to get to this point, it has been a long time coming. I think we know that what’s most important in education is what happens in the schools, but to be able to do that in a brand new, state of the art building with the top facilities is going to be the cherry on the cake for all the pupils in the area.”
Local St Andrews councillor Brian Thomson said: “It has been a really long road to get here – around seven years since I got involved myself. It’s fantastic that we’re on site and the kids at the schools, both the current pupils and the kids at the primary schools, can see it happening. In just under two years they should have a new school.
“It’s fantastic for the children, the staff and the community.”