MORAY’S LATEST ADDITION to its school estate was filled with chattering voices as pupils moved into the new Elgin High School for the first time on Wednesday.
A £30million investment, the high-tech campus includes a fitness complex, auditorium, library and state-of-the-art catering facilities.
600 pupils arrived at their new school in ‘by year’ phases – each address by head teacher Hugh McCulloch. Speaking of the first wave of pupils he said: “The look on the pupils’ faces has been absolutely fantastic this morning – they are completely and utterly amazed and spellbound by the fact that this is now their new school.
“The outstanding facilities on offer – the performance areas, the sports facilities, the teaching and learning environments are truly outstanding – they are quite frankly second to none, not just within the authority, but across the nation.
“This is a very proud day for the fantastic staff here, the pupils and myself.”
After he welcomed them to their new school, senior pupils took groups around the school to familiarise them with the layout and facilities. Bristling with new technology, the school includes equipment for senior students to take advantage of distance learning as well as having smart boards in each classroom.
Project staff at Moray Council have been working closely with contractors Balfour Beatty and the procurement body, Hub North Scotland, for the duration of the build. The school was funded by the Scottish Futures Trust and Moray Council.
What remains now is the demolition of the old school building, which will provide space for an all-weather pitch.
Moray Council’s chair of the Children and Young People’s Committee, Councillor Tim Eagle, said: “This is truly a very welcome milestone for Elgin High pupils and staff.
“I know that everyone has worked hard to get the school ready for today – including all over the half-term holiday – and by the look on the young people’s faces it has been worth it. I congratulate our staff across all departments for what they’ve achieved.”
SNP councillor for Elgin City South, Graham Leadbitter, was one of the first to welcome the opening of the new school, saying: “It has been great to see it take shape following the commitment from both the Council and the Scottish Government to this £30million investment.
“Having schools fit for 21st century learning is a key commitment from the SNP both at 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 High School is really fantastic.
“This is a state-of-the-art school with some amazing spaces in it for both pupils and staff and with modern sports facilities that will be accessible to the whole community.”