New £32.5m Perth secondary school poised for approval

© Supplied
How the new Bertha Park School could look.

Scotland’s first new secondary school in more than 20 years is expected to get the go-ahead next week.

Councillors are being asked to approve plans for the £32.5 million Bertha Park project at Perth.

The long-awaited school will be part of a £1 billion city expansion being built by Springfield Properties to the north of the city.

it will have a 1,100 capacity, with the first roll of around 100 pupils scheduled to move in by August 2019.

The tally will rise by about 120 each year, meaning that full capacity will not be reached for at least nine years after opening.

Artist impression of new Bertha Park school© Supplied
Artist impression of new Bertha Park school

Bertha Park is described as “unique” in the current Scottish Government schools programme, in that it is not a direct replacement for an existing school, but is an entirely new building to serve Perth’s expanding population.

On Wednesday, members of the Perth and Kinross Council’s development management committee will be asked to wave through the planning application after receiving no objections.

In a report to councillors, interim planning chief Nick Brian said: “In the long term, the development of this purpose built 21st century secondary school will provide an excellent learning environment and platform for future scholars and a social hub for the community.

“In summary, short and long term economic impact will be beneficial for the local and wider area.”

He said action would be taken to address potential noise problems when youngsters are using new all-weather pitches.

“Even at the levels anticipated, associated noise could however potentially be
considered a ‘statutory nuisance’, particularly through any audible foul
language and general antisocial behaviour,” he said.

“In light of this, it has been recommended as best practice to seek via condition, for a noise management plan to be drawn up for approval.”

The designs include an additional support needs unit and a multi-use games area.

A biomass energy plant, which turns natural gas into electricity, will be built in the school grounds to help provide power.

Bertha Park was awarded £23 million of Scottish Government money and is part of a wider £145 million shake-up of schools across the region.

The council is also reviewing all its primary and secondary schools in an effort to bring rising revenue costs under control.

The initiative will look at the condition of school buildings, pupil numbers and occupancy rates.

According to a council report, several options are being considered including shared headships, catchment reviews and “rationalisation through closure”.

The possibility of building new schools in areas of high demand will also be