Moray Council has unveiled plans to build a new primary school in Elgin to combat an overcrowding crisis in the town.
The authority revealed that it has earmarked land near the town’s Linkwood Road for the creation of a new school – expected to open in 2018.
Meanwhile, £700,000 will be spent adapting vacant rooms at East Elgin Primary to accommodate an influx of new pupils from next August.
The proposals come after alarming figures revealed Elgin was on course for an overcrowding epidemic in years to come unless drastic action was taken.
It emerged that four of the town’s six primaries, Bishopmill, East End, New Elgin and Seafield, would have exceeded their capacities by 2018.
Consultation events were rolled out to survey parents on the rezoning of school catchment areas.
Council officers now recommend that a temporary school for primary one, two and three pupils be established in the former Heritage Centre building at East End.
The town’s historic collection has been relocated from the site to Elgin Library to free up extra teaching space.
The now-vacant rooms will be transformed into modern teaching facilities for the youngsters, at a cost of £668,000.
Younger children will be taught there while the new venue is being built, and will move into classes there once it opens.
Initially the freed-up space will be used for only a primary one class, with more rooms being used as pupils progress into primaries two and three.
“High quality” classroom facilities will be put in place, and a dedicated head teacher and staff will be appointed to oversee the temporary arrangement.
When the new school is created it is likely that the refurbished rooms at East End will be used by the existing primary.
A council spokesman said that at this stage it was too early to put a pricetag on the milestone project.
Members of the children and young people’s services committee will be asked to approve the plans at a meeting next week.
The council’s senior education advisor, Paul Watson, urged councillors to endorse the plans.
He explained the benefits of establishing new classrooms while construction work is ongoing at the proposed new venue.
Mr Watson said the move would mean children “enjoy continuity in their learning through primary school”.