A new high school for Midlothian will be built at the University of Edinburgh’s Easter Bush Campus, it has been confirmed.
Midlothian Councillors were told the local authority is finalising a deal to buy land at the site during a behind-closed-doors meeting on Tuesday.
The location of the new school, which is a replacement for Beeslack High School in Penicuik, has been kept under wraps for more than a year after it emerged the expected site at Gowkley Moss Roundabout was no longer in the running.
Council officers said the location of the new secondary, known as the A701 corridor school, had to be kept under wraps while the council negotiated with the landowner.
However following Tuesday’s meeting, the council confirmed it will build a replacement for Beeslack Community High School within the Easter Bush Campus.
The council said the new school will be a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Centre of Excellence.
Councillor Ellen Scott, the cabinet’s education spokesperson, said: “The chosen site offers a fantastic opportunity to work in partnership with the university.
“We’re very excited at the prospect of building a high-quality, inspiring learning environment, where pupils can take advantage of the STEM expertise on its doorstep – Easter Bush is a world-leading research and innovation campus specialising in animal biosciences, agritech, veterinary medicine and medicine.
“The new Centre of Excellence will not only raise attainment and help pupils secure high paying jobs in the future but, linking with the university, it will also become a knowledge base, helping inform improvements to building design, the curriculum and teaching methods across Scotland.”
The school will be able to accommodate 1,200 pupils with capacity to expand to take up to 1,600 pupils and will have a dedicated learning space for children with Additional Support Needs (ASN).
It will be built to energy-efficient Passivhaus standards meaning it will have very low carbon emissions, helping the council towards its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
Beeslack Community High School headteacher Lynn Black said: “Our pupils, staff and wider school community are really looking forward to helping create a unique building and centre of excellence that exceeds expectations and inspires current and future users for decades to come.”
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