Construction now underway on £42 million Moray secondary school

© SuppliedThe new school will have a capacity of 800 pupils
The new school will have a capacity of 800 pupils

Construction of Moray’s new secondary school is well underway and progressing ahead of its new schedule, though it is early days for the £42 million project.

Mild winter weather has helped contractors make swift progress on the beginnings of the replacement for the ageing Lossiemouth High School.

The overall project has been much-delayed but now work is underway, main contractor Balfour Beatty says it is running three-weeks ahead of schedule and remains on target to open in the summer of 2020.

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As a sign that things are going to plan, Scottish Government Education Minister John Swinney is coming to Lossiemouth next month to “officially” kick off construction with a ceremonial turf-cutting.

The new secondary school will include facilities such as a community centre, library, swimming pool and an artificial sports pitch.

Heldon and Laich councillor John Cowe said last night he was pleased by how much progress has been made, but stressed that a lot of work remains to be done.

£42 million is being spent on the replacement for the much-maligned Lossiemouth High School building. It’s failing structure was once held up as the worst of any school in Scotland.

He said: “The weather has been quite good recently and that has helped with construction, although the piling won’t be finished till the end of March as a huge number of piles need to go in.

“I’m delighted to see it being built as Lossiemouth badly needs a new high school.

“The old one was once listed as being in the worst condition of any school in Scotland.

“Everything is happening in Lossiemouth at the moment, with the base expansion also coming in 2020.

“It will bring in £120 million a year to Lossiemouth.

“We fought to get that and the school, so it good to see the town get its due reward.”

The new Lossiemouth High School will cost Moray Council £15.9 million, with the rest of the cost being paid for by the Scottish Government’s Scottish Futures Trust.

It will have capacity for 800 pupils.

Construction work was initially to have begun in March last year but delays were caused by concerns about sandy soil at the site and repeated votes within the council chambers in connection with plans for a swimming pool and its financial implications.

Sonya Warren, chairwoman of the council’s children and young people’s committee, said: “It’s fantastic to see progress happening and the start of a new school being built in Lossiemouth that will provide education for the 21st Century.

“There are a lot of good things going on in Lossiemouth.”