OFFICIALS say Strathyre Primary School is on track to re-open before Christmas, as extensive refurbishment and improvement works near completion.

Work started in September 2017 and was due to end for the start of the 2018-19 academic year.

However, Stirling Council officials insist that "severe winter weather, construction issues and circumstances outside the council’s control" pushed back the planned entry date to October, and then December.

Temporary arrangements to accommodate pupils at McLaren High School during the works had to be extended, and the council would like to thank pupils, parents and families for their patience during this period of disruption.

Stirling Council has invested £1.864 million in the project which will provide additional teaching space and a sport, dining, and community area.

It also will remove existing modular accommodation and the need to transport pupils off site for physical education.

Along with improving the educational environment, the refurbishment will allow for better energy efficiency and reduced operating costs in the future.

At last week’s meeting of the finance and economy committee, councillors heard from officers in the land services team that everything was in place for contactors to hand over the building for the week beginning December 17. 

Staff have also been up to look round the new facility ahead of moving back in.

Councillor Susan McGill, convener of the children and young people committee, said: “This long-term project will transform Strathyre primary into a modern and fulfilling learning environment and provide the local community with a top-class facility.

“We recognise the disappointment for pupils, parents and families that the works took longer than expected, and I am delighted that they will soon be able to move back into the newly-refurbished school, which will be completed to the highest possible standard.”

“I would also like to thank staff and pupils at McLaren High for making everyone from Strathyre feel so welcome in their temporary home.”

Bernadette McDonald, Strathyre primary headteacher, said: “Our new school is a fantastic space, light and airy, providing an interesting and stimulating environment where the children can learn, play and grow.

“Staff visited the site last week and took photos and a video of the school, both inside and outside. We showed these images to the children during our weekly assembly and the consensus of opinion was extremely positive.

Children are also excited at returning to a bigger and better school ahead of the Christmas holidays.

P5 pupil Jenna Sneddon said: “It’s a bigger school now and it will be lovely to move back in. More children can come to our school and we have great facilities to use, such as the hall.”

Anna Mchedliani, from P6, added: “I’m actually really glad that our new school has been built because now lots more children can come to our school. It will be easier to have PE and school parties, and we won’t have to travel as far on the buses.”