Scottish Borders Council authorised the start of construction in September 2015. The council has been working alongside its development partner Hub South East Scotland, who have appointed Graham Construction as the contractor, to progress the £8.6million project, which includes relocating the primary school and creating a new Berwickshire Locality Support Centre within the former Berwickshire High School building.
The project is part funded by Scottish Futures Trust (SFT), and SBC’s executive member for education, Councillor Sandy Aitchison, said: “I am delighted we have reached this significant milestone. I am sure pupils and parents in Duns and the Berwickshire area will welcome the sight of the works starting, which will result in the former high school being converted into a modern facility fit for educating the county’s children.” SBC’s executive member for social work, Mid Berwickshire Councillor Frances Renton, added: “Incorporating a new Berwickshire Locality Support Centre into this project will benefit children with additional needs. “It means these children will not have to travel significant distances and will have better access to modern facilities.”
The new Duns Primary School involves the refurbishment of the former Berwickshire High School to provide a properly designed solution to meet the requirements of Curriculum for Excellence within the context of a Listed Building.
The school has been designed for a projected pupil roll of 459 (including 30 SBC Nursery places), based on 14 classrooms / 2 stream, 33 pupils/room and 3 staff/room occupancy with future expansion provision.
A key component of the redevelopment of the school is the integration of the core school building with community facilities that are intended to be provided in other areas of the former High School, such as the swimming pool, sports facilities and the new Jim Clark museum.
Marmac Services Ltd will provide the full Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing installations throughout the refurbished buildings.