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Dumfries High plans move forward

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Dumfries and West
Dumfries High plans move forward

EDUCATION bosses are seeking the green light from their planning colleagues for a brand new Dumfries High School.

Dumfries and Galloway Council’s education department last week submitted a formal planning application seeking permission for a new build of the secondary school at a cost of £48m.

The planning papers described the development as: “Erection of secondary education facility with detached plant rooms and amphitheatre, formation of 3G pitch with viewing terrace, science and wellbeing gardens, external dining and seating terraces, attenuation basins, 72 car parking spaces, landscaping and association works (demolition of existing school, David Keswick Athletics Centre and Greystone Foundation Building).” The bid to secure planning consent comes against a backdrop of financial warnings about rising construction costs.

At last month’s education committee, councillors heard how the cost of construction materials have gone through the roof.

Steel prices have risen by 60 percent since 2020, while mechanical, electrical and plumbing prices have more than doubled in some cases.

Work on the new school is scheduled to commence in spring 2023, and it has been confirmed that the current building will stay in place until the completion date in 2025.

This means that pupils will be able to look on as their new high school takes shape, and watch each stage of the development project.

Ryder Architecture was appointed to lead on the design of the new school after they impressed the head teacher and education officials with their proposals.

At an education committee last year, several pupils, who are members of Dumfries and Galloway Youth Council, raised concerns about possible disruption to learners when the new building is being constructed.

Larann Foss, the school’s estates manager, replied: “That is something that is a high priority in terms of how we deliver this.

“We need to ensure that the minimum impact is felt from all the pupils at the high school during the construction phase.

“It is a tandem build, so we will not be touching the existing building until the new one is finished.”

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