A Perthshire primary school will be closed to pupils as part of a year-long refurbishment.
Longforgan Primary has been selected for a multi-million-pound upgrade, which will see the ageing building modernised and expanded.
During construction, which is due to get under way in April next year, all pupils will be bussed to lessons at Errol Primary about 12 miles away.
They will be taught in classrooms at the west side of the school building and in temporary cabins outside. Although Longforgan staff and pupils will effectively operate as a separate primary, both schools will share dining and PE facilities.
A Perth and Kinross Council spokesman said: “This investment at Longforgan will increase pupil capacity from 144 to 150 with an additional 20 nursery places being provided taking capacity for nursery to 32 children to accommodate the increased 1140 hours nursery provision.”
He continued: “The new school will be re-developed on the current school site. The existing listed building will be refurbished and modernised providing auxiliary accommodation and three classrooms. A new building will replace the current nursery, dining, additional classrooms and gym hall. Once complete all school accommodation will be within one building.
“It is anticipated that construction of this multi-million pound investment in Longforgan Primary School will start in April 2019 and continue at least until April 2020. At the moment this is a projected timescale and may be subject to review.”
The move has been welcomed by local councillors, despite some concern by parents at Errol.
“I welcome this much-needed improvement to Longforgan Primary School and I look forward to seeing detailed plans for the new dining hall after the summer holidays,” said Labour councillor Alasdair Bailey.
“I have heard some concerns from parents at Errol whose school will host the Longforgan kids for 12 months. However, I was reassured by council officers that the temporary building proposed there is to ensure that both schools can continue to exist separately with their own management and separate classes to maintain class sizes as they are today.”
He said: “Errol Primary was built with spare capacity in anticipation of additional housing in the area which has not yet been constructed, therefore the shared facilities for dining, PE and play etc won’t be over-capacity even for the year when the Longforgan kids are on site.”
Conservative councillor Angus Forbes added: “Its’ a major upgrade, far more than originally planned demonstrating a huge investment in the school. The scale of the refurb dictates that for a period of around one year pupils will need to be taught in Errol with transport being provided between Longforgan and Errol at no expense to parents.
“I am delighted we can make this investment in a school that really needs it.”
SNP councillor Beth Pover said: “I am delighted that the funds approved and ring-fenced and by the previous administration are finally being used for intended purpose of upgrading the school.”