Contractors have finished work on a multi-million pound upgrade at a century-old Perthshire primary school.
Longforgan Primary School has been the subject of a £6 million upgrade over the last 18 months and the building was officially handed back by the contractor to the council last month ready for opening yesterday.
Plans were first launched to refurbish the B-listed Edwardian building in October 2018 and were signed off three months later.
Longforgan Primary was built in 1908, with a dining hall added in 1945 and a Horsa hut built in 1975. More recently, conversions and extensions have been built to accommodate a nursery and increasing school roll.
Designed by Glasow-based ECD Architects, the renovation included replacing the dining room and previously-built extension.
While racking up a handful of objections, the proposals mainly garnered community support, including from the school’s parent and pupil councils.
Parent council chairwoman Jacqueline Dooley said the premises needed “immediate upgrading” to come in line with new schooling standards in a letter to council chiefs when the blueprints were first drawn up.
The upgrade has been part of an ongoing five-year education building programme, involving investment in some schools and the closure of others.
Pandemic restrictions put work on the school upgrade on hold for a while last year, but crews have no completed all of the building work and handed the keys over to Perth and Kinross Council.
Displaced youngsters had moved to Errol Primary, seven and a half miles away, while the construction work was being carried out.
Conservative councillor Angus Forbes says the only real disappointment is that most pupils wont be allowed to use the school under the current guidelines, but that he is sure they will be very excited to see it when restrictions are lifted.
The Carse of Gowrie representative said: “This is fantastic news for Longforgan and the surrounding area. It’s pretty much a brand new school, the only remaining part is the listed building that was at the heart of the old school.
“Four years ago when I was knocking doors looking for votes, the school came up over and over again, I never imagined we would be able to deliver the school that parents were asking for but I am absolutely delighted that we have done so.
“I have visited the construction site and it looks really good. Every possible consideration has been accommodated and it will be a great addition to the area.”
“This is a huge financial investment in my ward and I am absolutely delighted that the administration have shown such commitment to the Carse of Gowrie.”
A council spokesperson said: “We are delighted to confirm that after 22 months Longforgan Primary School will re-open on Tuesday.
“We wish we were able to welcome all pupils back with more of a celebration but under the current Covid-19 circumstances the school will only open to vulnerable children and children of key workers.
“This investment of £6.15m for a new school in Longforgan will increase pupil capacity and provide 20 additional nursery places to accommodate the increased 1140 hours nursery provision.
“The existing listed building has been fully refurbished and modernised providing auxiliary accommodation and three classrooms.
“The listed building has been extended so that all facilities are in the same building, which is built round a large courtyard.
“A large two storey high hall of 179m2 will provide ample facilities for dining and PE and the new classroom extension allows younger children to be accommodated in classrooms adjacent to the nursery.”