Plans approved for £46m rebuild of fire-hit Peebles High School

  • Video report by Borders reporter Clare McNeill

Plans for a multi-million pound rebuild of Borders school has been approved by councillors.

Peebles High School was severely damaged after a large fire broke out in November 2019.

Rebuilding part of the building was considered but, following a feasibility study, it was found that constructing an entirely new campus would be quicker and less disruptive to pupils

The 1,300 pupils plus staff were displaced to temporary classrooms in halls and churches around Peebles, for almost 10 weeks.

Since then, councillors have been trying to decide whether the school should undergo a partial rebuild with the damaged areas refurbished, or whether an entirely new campus was the better option.

Speaking to ITV Border, Councillor Stuart Bell said: "The new rebuild will give us a school that can potentially last for 50 years thats the planning thats done in terms of schools these days.

"To build on to the existing structure would not be as long lived, they can build a school which uses materials more efficiently and has greater energy efficiency but above all there's reduced disruption to the pupils because they can still be taught in the existing facilities while a new school is being built."

It's set to take two years to complete and the council say there's enough space to construct the new school whilst keep the existing one operational, by making use of the temporary classrooms put in place after the fire. They say this will minimise disruption to pupils. 

A start date for this project hasn't yet been set, and the council still have to seek planning permission, following a public consultation which will be launched in the coming in weeks.