Craigtoun Park mooted as option for new single-site Madras College

1511028 SSHC craigtoun park 'daffodils in Craigtoun Park, St Andrews
1511028 SSHC craigtoun park 'daffodils in Craigtoun Park, St Andrews

Craigtoun Park has emerged as a possible site for the new Madras school during a week in which parent groups have called on Fife Council to provide detailed information on each of the options.

Former district councillor Callum MacLeod claimed this week that Craigtoun would be the ideal venue for the new school because of its size, location and the fact that the land is already owned by the council.

The idea was raised at a meeting of the Madras College Parent Council last week when the council agreed to include the site in a list of alternative locations they will now reappraise.

“Craigtoun seems a very real possibility for many reasons,” Mr MacLeod told the Citizen this week.

“It is in decline as a recreational destination, neglected to the point where extremely large sums of money would be needed to restore it to its former glory; it is a huge site with plenty of room for an iconic world-class school, ancillary buildings, playing fields and bus and car parking and the grounds would be a stunning environment for children to learn and socialise in.

“And, vitally, the park is already in council ownership, negating the need for protracted and risky negotiations for the purchase or exchange of other sites.”

John Barnett, chairman of the Madras Parent Council, called for all parents with an interest in the new school to be included in the debate over the best way of taking the project forward.

“While existing Madras College parents are keen to express their views, I have been contacted by parents of primary and nursery school children anxious that they too are brought into the discussions,” he said.

“This week’s Madras College Parent Forum AGM will consider ways in which the views of their existing and prospective parent body can be most effectively represented in future including the possibility of conducting some form of online consultation.”

The parent council of Canongate Primary School also held a meeting this week to discuss the break down of the partnership between Fife Council and St Andrews University to build the new school.

Parents expressed their disappointment at the failure of the joint initiative, believing their children had been let down and a great opportunity missed.

And many parents expressed the view that redeveloping the Kilrymont site would be problematic.

“We are disappointed that so many buses would have to drive right through the town, and that children will still have to be bussed to the playing fields at Station Park,” Laura Turnbull, parent council secretary told the Citizen this week.

“We are also very unhappy with the idea of our children being taught in temporary classrooms right next to a noisy building site during the refurbishment.”