Staff and children have enjoyed their first week in the new Wallyford Primary School following completion of an £18.9m construction programme. They moved into the new school on Wednesday 20 February.
The size and scale of development meant that the old building on Salter’s Road was no longer able to meet the needs of the school community. The land was secured on the east side of the town as part of the St Clement’s Wells development to create a spacious primary school. The new campus offers room for modern educational facilities for a growing school population surrounded by plenty of outdoor space. East Lothian Council’s development partner, Hub South East, was responsible for project delivery and appointed Morrison Construction as the contractor. The project received a £4.5m grant from the Scottish Government’s Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme.
The finished school offers a light-filled and airy space which has been carefully planned to maximise children’s opportunities for learning. A soft palette of colours has been used throughout the school providing a calm environment for learning while echoing the landscapes that surround it. Open-plan spaces enable shared learning alongside quiet and more private spaces and meeting rooms. 28 classrooms are provided with a further four nursery playrooms offering up to 120 spaces.
Retractable bleacher-style seating has been included in the large sports hall for whole school assemblies, events or performances. The outside space includes all-weather pitches, basketball hoops, landscaping and grassed areas. The school also includes resources for wider use by the community including a new library which is currently being completed internally.
The nursery area has its own entrance. Four large playrooms, each equipped with a kitchen and toilet facilities are built around a shared space that can be used for shared dining or parent events. Each room also has access to the large outdoor space.
Fiona Robertson, Head of Education, said:
“This is an exciting time for children, families and staff at Wallyford Primary School. The new school offers great scope for shared learning and community use, offering benefits to the wider area too. Great consideration has been given to every aspect of the design to maximise the opportunities for children and it’s great that they are all settling into their new space.”
Cabinet spokesperson for Education, Councillor Shamin Akhtar, said:
“Wallyford is undergoing a period of change with significant investment in the area. The new school brings together the primary, nursery and library in a single, modern space providing a focus for the whole community. As well as the spacious and welcoming interior, I’m also pleased to see the large amounts of outdoor space that the children have to explore – from sports pitches to planted courtyards.”
“I’d like to thank Headteacher Mhairi Stratton, her staff, pupils and the Parent Council for their input and support throughout the project. I wish them all many happy and successful years in the new Wallyford Primary School.”
Roddy Clark, Hub South East’s Projects Director, added:
“The new Wallyford Primary School is the largest primary school we’ve delivered and we’re proud to have successfully managed this significant investment in education for East Lothian Council. This has been a real partnership project and I’d like to congratulate everyone involved for ensuring a first-class facility for pupils and staff alongside a range of benefits for the wider community.
“This is a fantastic learning environment for the children of Wallyford and we wish them every success in their new school.”