A “WORLD-CLASS” school building will be a “just reward” for pupils, says Peebles High School’s headteacher following confirmation that a planning application for the new facility has been lodged.

A planning application for a new Peebles High School building was recently submitted to Scottish Borders Council (SBC) after a fire in 2019 badly damaged part of the high school.

The £46million development would see parts of the original, damaged school knocked down, and a modern space built on the current playing fields.

Campbell Wilson, rector at Peebles High School, said he was “extremely excited” about the plans.

He said: “Any formal actions that take us closer to being able to occupy our new school are welcome. The proposed plans set out a very strong vision of creating a world-class education and community facility that will deliver huge benefits.”

He added: “We are already a good school with ambition to become a great one.

“A new school will give us the environment we need to best serve the needs of all of our young people by offering the very best in educational facilities – allowing them to grow as individuals.”

And he added: “A state-of-the-art campus will undoubtedly improve the reputation of the school and its role in the wider community.

“Peebles is a thriving town with a growing population.

“Having a new school will match the town’s ambition of being the best place in Scotland to raise a family.”

Edinburgh-based Bam Construction – which also built the Jedburgh Grammar campus – had been appointed as the contractor on the Peebles High project.

Should the plans be approved, construction is expected to commence towards the end of this year, with hopes that the school will be ready by December 2025.

Also sharing her excitement at the proposals, councillor Shona Haslam – who was leader of SBC at the time of the fire in 2019 – said: “I am absolutely delighted that this project is moving forward so quickly. The plans are looking fantastic and I am really excited to see this project delivered over the next couple of years.”

The Conservative councillor for Tweeddale East added: “Since the fire the community has shown incredible resilience and our young people and teachers have really stepped up.

“The new building will give a real sense of pride for them and our whole community.

“It will be a first class facility that will pay credit to our first class young people.”

After the fire, and two years of the coronavirus pandemic, Mr Wilson explained that a new school is a ‘just reward’ for pupils.

He said: “There is no doubt that the last two years have been exceptionally challenging and our students and staff have endured a great deal.

“Our young people are amazing and a new school will be just reward for triumphing in the face of adversity.”

The application can be viewed on the SBC online planning portal.