Construction has finally begun on a new primary school in Moray more than six months after it was due to hold its first classes.
Linkwood Primary School was originally expected to open in summer last year as part of a massive Springfield Properties housing development.
However, issues understood to surround the ownership of the site in the south of Elgin have resulted in the project being pushed back.
Now the turf has been cut on the £12.8million development to begin the construction with latest estimates putting the completion date in June next year.
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Sonya Warren, chairwoman of Moray Council’s children and young people’s committee, described the new school as “vital” to cope with the town’s booming population.
She said: “Schools like neighbouring New Elgin have been bursting at the seams. Elgin’s population continues to grow at a significant pace and the new school will provide essential capacity to support that expansion.
“Over the coming years hundreds of new houses are planned, particularly on the south side, which will provide a steady stream of pupils for the new school.”
Linkwood Primary School pupils are currently being taught in temporary accommodation at East End Primary School.
The council has enough capacity there for another intake of pupils there in the summer but has warned that further construction delays beyond the beginning of the 2020 academic year could result in extra costs.
Once complete, the new complex will provide space for 462 students including specialist ASN (additional support needs) provision for 12 pupils and 40 nursery places.
An external roof terrace, outdoor classroom, allotment and wetland habitat are also included in the plans.
Head teacher Fiona Stevenson said: “We’re delighted to begin our journey towards moving to the new school. The children have thrived in the current environment and we’re very fortunate to have had the high-quality facility that we have.
“With our new school we’ll be able to build positively on the education provision at Linkwood Primary with fantastic new facilities, surrounding environment and community.”
Hector Macaulay, regional managing director of contractors Balfour Beatty, said: “With more than 500 new houses in development in the area, we look forward to providing a school that supports the expanding number of new pupils.”