Pupils at Scotland’s newest school have been urged to “seize the opportunity” the 21st century facilities will provide them.
Children attended their first classes at the £30million replacement for Elgin High School yesterday morning.
Modern technology will allow senior students to learn subjects by video link from elsewhere in the country to enhance their career options.
However, head teacher Hugh McCulloch stressed the new building was about “more than the bricks and mortar” and hoped it would inspire the 600 students to widen their horizons.
He said: “When the pupils walk into the building for the first time you can see their amazement – they’re speechless and spellbound that this is their new school.
“The facilities are truly outstanding and quite frankly second to none, not just within the authority but across the nation. Everyone’s awestruck when they see the atrium.
“We’ve worked very hard to build this environment for them. It’s about more than the bricks and mortar though, the facilities will only help to propel them to their goals and reach their full potential.
“The rest of the work will be done in the classrooms to create opportunities for them to seize.”
Bulldozers will move in on the old Elgin High School next week to begin the demolition process to make way for an artificial football pitch.
Yesterday contractors were already inside the buildings, making preparations.
Pupils walking to their new school for the first time following an extended October break stopped outside their former classrooms to remember lessons and fun times there.
Senior students then gave guided tours around the high school to give their colleagues their first look at the classrooms.
The main entrance to the school now opens into a vast atrium that will also be home to the assembly hall and canteen.
Elgin City South councillor Graham Leadbitter said: “Having schools fit for the 21st century learning is a key commitment from the SNP, both at a national and local level.
“Seeing that commitment bearing fruit for the hundreds of pupils attending Elgin High and for the New Elgin community around the school is really fantastic.
“This is a state-of-the-art school with some amazing spaces in it for both pupils and staff with modern sports facilities that will be accessible to the whole community.” Open evenings have been planned to give parents and residents a look inside.
The school is the first of three new schools planned to be opened in Moray in the coming years.
Linkwood Primary School in the south of Elgin is currently due to open in July 2019 while a replacement for Lossiemouth High School is expected to host its first classes in March 2020.
Tim Eagle, chairman of the council’s children and young people’s committee, said: “This is truly a very welcome milestone for Elgin High’s pupils and staff.”