A major £2million overhaul of a Moray school has been welcomed as a long-term fix to heating concerns.
The planned refurbishment of the neo-Gothic-building’s canteen comes following complaints Fochabers pupils have been forced to eat their lunch in the cold.
Moray Council wants to build an extension at the back of Milne’s Primary School for a new nursery while revamping the kitchen and dining area.
Documents submitted to planners describe the new school environment as “inspiring” while seamlessly blending the old A-listed building with the new extension.
Fochabers Lhanbryde councillor Sean Morton is pleased to see the long-term future of the school is being looked after.
He said: “I’ve heard complaints from parents that their children are eating in the canteen wearing hats and jackets.
“I want to make sure these plans are progressed as quickly as possible. The pupils deserve it. They’re long overdue, we’ve been talking about them since 2012.
“Obviously there are still concerns about the short-term – these plans won’t be ready for this winter so I hope the heating problems are resolved soon.”
Mr Morton added that he was looking forward to seeing the designs for the new nursery and canteen with education staff.
Temporary heaters are being used in the school at the moment before a new oil burner is installed to keep the young diners warm.
As part of the major refurbishment project the old school house and nursery on the grounds will be demolished. In their place will be built a new play area that will be fenced to make the area more secure.
The new buildings will be clad in wood with the roof a natural sandstone colour to ensure it blends in with the rest of the village.
A report submitted to planners states: “The buildings are proportioned within the new extension to be both functional for the modern education requirements, create an inspriring environment for the school population and also harmonise with the existing 1990’s extension to the rear of the main Gothic building.”