THE planning process for the new Gala Academy campus has brought “disappointment after disappointment”, according to an elected official.

Conservative representative Euan Jardine made the comment during a meeting of the community council last month, where the reported proposals for the school were slammed.

Judith Cleghorn and Rick Kenney told the virtual gathering that they had both had meetings with Steven Renwick, Scottish Borders Council (SBC) project manager, to go through the campus plans.

Ms Cleghorn, community council chairwoman, said the local authority is looking at a four-court and a two-court games hall, a gym, a dance studio, a fitness suite and a swimming pool for the new school.

But the proposals were criticised, with Mr Kenney saying that it would be a “generational loss” if the school ends up with those facilities.

“I think it really will be, if that’s the end result, such a huge disappointment for the town,” he said. “To not have the only place in the Borders that would have a six or eight badminton-court-size indoor hall for sport, recreation, non-sporting events, it really is a generational loss. If and when the Queens Centre shuts down and they sell off that ground there’s actually going to be less indoor sporting provision in the town than what there is now.”

He added: “What’s going to come won’t be state of the art, that phrase gets used quite liberally. To be a community school it really does need to be able to cater for the community.

“What a disappointment, not just for the people of Galashiels but also the population of the Borders, if we just get a standard four-court games hall and a smaller gymnasium.

“It’s a great opportunity lost.”

Galashiels councillor Euan Jardine, of the Conservatives, agreed with Mr Kenney, describing the reported sports provision as “a step back”.

“Every time I’m at a meeting it’s disappointment after disappointment,” he said. “I think it’s a step back in provision rather than a step forward.

“It’s very short-sighted.”

On the calls to have a six or eight-court games hall, he added: “The argument that keeps getting told is, ‘No other school in Scotland has this’.

“So what? Why can’t the Borders lead the way? Why can’t Galashiels be ahead of the curve?

“I’m adamant we should be pushing for six or eight courts. I know funding and I know budgets, but money can be found.

“We’ve found it before we can find it again.”

Ms Cleghorn said that she was told that if money became available, future improvements to the sports facilities would be limited due to a lack of space.

Since the meeting, SBC has submitted formal plans for a "modern community campus".

According to the council, the school will have a swimming pool, "extensive" sports hall facilities, a 2G hockey pitch, 3G rugby &and football pitch, grass football pitch, covered tennis courts and a 100m running track.