Planning permission has been granted for the construction of a state-of-the-art campus in Galashiels, marking an important next step in the replacement of the outdated existing building.
The decision will pave the way for further planning, design and development to be undertaken alongside further consultation with the local community to talk through the approved plans and the immediate next steps before construction begins.
Designed with involvement from the community, the campus will benefit the wider community providing an active landscape with opportunities for team sports, exercise classes, and routes for walking and running.
The new facility will be constructed within the existing school boundary and on a portion of the town’s Scott Park.
The plans detail the development of a transformational campus offering open-plan and modern learning environments which will also provide a variety of versatile spaces for use by the wider community.
Internally, this modern learning space will see core teaching and community spaces arranged around a vibrant central spine through the building encouraging collaboration, creativity and socialising.
A variety of sporting facilities will also be included in the new build, featuring a swimming pool, 2G Hockey Pitch, 3G Rugby & Football Pitch, Grass Football Pitch, covered Tennis Courts and 100m Running track.
Externally, a significant re-imagining and expansion of Scott Park is proposed, with the provision of new play park facilities, additional greenspace and improved connections with Gala Policies and Gala Hill woodland.
Construction on the building itself is scheduled to begin in Spring of next year with the new facility to be constructed whilst the existing school remains operational, avoiding significant disruption for pupils. The entire development is due to be completed in 2025.
Councillor Leagh Douglas, Executive Member for Education & Lifelong Learning said: “The approval of planning signifies another major milestone in the programme for the construction of a new world class education facility in Galashiels.
“This means further progress can be made in the development and design of a transformational campus that will replace the outdated Galashiels Academy building.
“As well as offering major educational benefits, the new school will also provide significant benefits to the wider community through improved social and sporting facilities which can be accessed by all.
“By consulting with the public at regular intervals throughout this initial phase we have been able to shape the design of the building to the needs of the local community in order to create a hub that local can be proud of and benefit from.”
Scott Brown, Hub South East’s Project Director, said: “Achieving planning permission is a key step in the development of a fantastic new Community Campus for Galashiels. JMA’s inspiring designs have been well received and we look forward to further developing these as the project progresses.
“Working in partnership with Scottish Borders Council and our contractor Morrison Construction, we will deliver a facility which supports a modern learning experience for pupils and is an asset to the local community, whilst realising a range of local benefits and social value.”