Linkwood Primary School in Elgin opens its doors
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LINKWOOD Primary School in Elgin opened its doors for the very first time this morning.
The £12.8 million school – originally set to cost £800,000 less – was due to open in June 2018 but has been beset by delays.
Its intended pupils have been taught in an annexe at East East Primary School in the meantime, with problems securing the site and the coronavirus pandemic delaying Linkwood Primary's opening.
The new school is now finally ready to welcome pupils – albeit fewer than usual due to the ongoing pandemic.
During lockdown, it will host around 50 children who are either vulnerable or whose parents are key workers, with all pupils moving into the new building when coronavirus restrictions allow.
Head teacher Fiona Stevenson said: “We are thrilled to be in our new school.
"It has been a meaningful experience for the pupils to watch their new school being built, and I’m looking forward to the return of all our learners so we can enjoy the fantastic space and facilities here at Linkwood.”
The school can accommodate more than 400 pupils, has additional support needs (ASN) provision for up to 12 pupils and space for 40 children in the nursery.
Children will be able to enjoy an external roof terrace and outdoor play areas (featuring a secure area for ASN pupils), a multi-use games area, a secure play area for nursery pupils, an outdoor classroom and an orchard.
Chair of Moray Council's children and young people services committee councillor Sonya Warren (SNP, Buckie) hopes the school will benefit generations of learners to come.
She said: “With the significant development in the area, it’s vital that we have a modern learning environment to support our pupils and take its place in the community.
"After a tough year for learners, to come back to new classrooms, in a new purpose-built school, will be such a boost.”
Moray Council worked with hub North Scotland and contractors Balfour Beatty to build the school.
Ewen Fowlie, the hub North Scotland project director for the school development, added: “It is great to see Linkwood in use, even on a reduced scale, and playing its part in the community in the current restrictions.
"It is a fabulous building and when things return to normal, it will play a major role in south Elgin life for generations to come.”