“WHY would it even be considered to build a school without a large meeting space?”

That is the question concerned Peebles High School parents are asking as plans for the new £50 million community campus do not include an auditorium.

The Community Council of the Royal Burgh of Peebles and District (PCC) chairman, Peter Maudsley, has at least 20 written submissions on many issues.

A specific issue is the downsizing of the assembly space.

This is in a new build school where the capacity was originally for a school roll of 1,400 pupils, a figure which was reached last month.

A submission to PCC states: “The original plans contained an auditorium which would be similar to the current school assembly hall.

“This has now been removed and replaced with a double space drama room, which will have pocket doors to open out to one larger room.

“It is single storey in height and will have teaching spaces directly above it and tiered seating at one end and will seat 250.

“There is no stage. This will need to be built separately and stored elsewhere.

“The current school hall seats 360 – essential during exam times, which takes up two months of every year.”

Mr Maudsley added: “At the moment there is the ability to fit 500 to 600 people in the school hall (for a show for instance).

“If at the end of this process we don’t have the ability to fit that many we will have been belittled.”

The parent’s statement continued: “The lack of this large space will mean that other classes in the school are displaced for two months to accommodate those taking exams.

“Unsurprisingly, with a school roll of 1,400, parental meetings at the school do fill the hall.

“The new school building was being called a community hub – without an auditorium, there will be no community building, fit for purpose and large enough to hold community performances.”

Attendees at a recent Parent Council meeting were told that there are very few, if any, high schools in Scotland without an auditorium.

The email continued: “This is the biggest high school in the Scottish Borders.

“It’s the heart of the school where staff, pupils and parents come together, it’s really important.

“It’s not a space that is used once a week for 35 minutes, it’s an essential part of the school.

“There is no ‘getting it right for every child’ here, this is huge loss and a fundamental error in a brand-new school. It’s inconceivable that this can be missed off the school. It was so important that it was included in the first set of plans that were issued.

“It was removed with no consultation whatsoever, frankly underhand.

“It was mentioned at the consultation a few weeks ago that the games hall could be used for large meetings. This, of course, is not possible at all. The sprung floor needs covered with a floating floor before any chairs can be placed on it.

“It is currently costing £7,000 per installation to have the floating floor laid before exams take place each April/May time and it takes almost a week to be laid and lifted.”

Scottish Borders Council told us it was aware of parents’ concerns.

A spokesperson said: “We are undertaking engagement to help shape the proposals for the new high school.

“The council is aware of concerns raised and are considering this with the project team.”