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Designs in pipeline for new High School

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By Marc Mclean, Local Democracy Reporter
Dumfries and West
Designs in pipeline for new High School

FIVE architectural firms are currently working to come up with the best possible design for the replacement of Dumfries High School.

And councillors have requested reassurances from education chiefs that athletes and groups who use the David Keswick Centre won’t lose out when the construction work begins in 2024.

Provost Tracey Little asked: “What’s the situation with the David Keswick Centre, and also the 3G pitches at the back of the school?

“Is the David Keswick Centre part of this new build or will it be left in situ? Whatever’s happening, are we consulting with them continually?”

Council education officer Larann Foss replied: “Absolutely, the engagement has started with the Greystone Rovers Foundation around the use of the David Keswick Centre as we know that’s used outside of school core hours through a service level agreement.”

He went onto explain that there would a tandem build, saying: “We maintain the existing facility – so both the David Keswick Centre and the school have to be maintained as an operational facility during the construction phase.

“Now that we’ve had the go-ahead to engage with Hub Southwest around the design phase, we’ve actually started engagement with five architectural firms to look at which one is going to be the best partnership for us to engage with around the site development.

“As that progresses, we’ll have options appraisals to determine the best location within the site itself – whether that’s effectively behind the school or in front of the school.

“We haven’t taken those decisions yet, but absolutely our thinking will be around the right level of external facilities.”

Meanwhile, Annandale North Councillor Stephen Thompson raised the David Keswick Centre issue too, saying: “Looking at the time project management chart, it looks to be that demolition and landscaping wouldn’t start until January 2026.”

The £74 million Dumfries High replacement project could get under way in the second quarter of the year.

The development forms part of phase two of the Dumfries Learning Town scheme.

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