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School construction will be a ‘learning experience’

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By Marc Mclean, Local Democracy Reporter
Dumfries and West
School construction will be a ‘learning experience’

EDUCATION chiefs have insisted that the new build of Dumfries High School will be a rich learning experience for pupils – rather than a noisy distraction – when the development begins.

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.

Several pupils, who are members of Dumfries and Galloway Youth Council, participated in the council’s education committee last week.

One of the teenagers asked about possible disruption to learners during construction.

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.

“The story that I hope to get out of this at the very end is that our children saw a great advantage of being in the existing building while the new one was being built.

“They had the opportunity to interact with all the different trades, interact with all the different specialisms that were taking place there, and take opportunity from it rather than it being a noisy distraction and just something going on in the background.

“We need to get the youngsters involved with the architects, involved with the bricklayers, plumbers, electricians, and master planners so we take advantage of the unique opportunity we’ve got through the investment that’s happening.”

Pupils are also being invited to play their part in the development of the new school building.

An engagement team, made up of a mix of pupils, who wish to share their views on the school development is being set up.

They will be involved in question and answer sessions, open discussions, and will present findings and proposals back to their peer groups.

Ryder Architecture has been appointed to lead on the design of the new school.

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