Kirkcaldy’s new Windmill Community Campus welcomed some special guests to its official opening on Friday.
The ceremony was carried out by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown who was accompanied by Kainat and Shazia, two friends of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani activist who was shot by the Taliban after campaigning for girls education. The girls are now studying in the UK.
Speaking in his capacity as Global Ambassador for Education Mr Brown looked back at the long history of Viewforth High and looked forward to the “unique opportunities for a better future” for the whole of the East of Kirkcaldy community based around the building.
The £21.5 million campus was purpose-built by BAM Construction and as well as Viewforth and Rosslyn Schools, it includes a public library, council offices and community use sports and meeting facilities.
It opened its doors to pupils at the start of term in August, and was officially opened on Friday with a ceremony of celebration which included drama and music performances.
Steve Grimmond, Chief Executive of Fife Council, welcomed everyone and spoke of having watched the building grow over the last couple of years.
David Ross, Council Leader along with Gordon Brown then unveiled the plaque, officially opening the campus.
In his speech David Ross looked back to the journey towards the new High School and outlined how the inclusion of the High School in the campus provided much more than had every been anticipated.
He said that the inclusion of Rosslyn and the local office was a first for Fife and was a pattern of service provision that would be repeated in new school plans around Fife.
The event was compered by Viewforth’s Head Boy and Head Girl, Scott Anderson and Jo Hamilton assisted by Rosslyn School pupils Kayleigh Kearins and Santiago Nabais. There was also input from Dysart Primary pupils Tegan Dickson and Megan Keary.
Viewforth pupils Kara Armstrong and Ruby Wallace acted out a scene from ‘The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,’ Rebecca Dean sang a solo and the Viewforth Advanced Higher Music class concluded the event with an upbeat Coldplay number.
Adrian Watt, rector of Viewforth, said: “Today was very humbling yet at the same time left me with a great sense of pride. The new campus is wonderful and I look to the local community, both young and old to help us make the most of this great opportunity.”
The vote of thanks at the end of the ceremony was given by Councillor Neil Crooks, chairman of the Kirkcaldy area committee, who highlighted the journey of Fife Council to get to this point.
He outlined his life-long connection to the area and his hopes for the future before thanking all of the staff from the different partners now sharing the campus and also all of those involved in its construction.
S6 pupils Alea Carr (16) and Gillian Ness (17), told the Press they had settled in well to their new school.
“It is great to have all these new, modern facilities, and we are certainly not lacking in resources any more which is great for both us as pupils and for the teachers,” said Alea.
“We also love being in with Rosslyn School and are doing a lot of joint work with them which is great.”
“Technology is a big thing here and you walk into a room and the lights come on and the heating is just right,” said Gillian.
“Our new sports facilities are great and Raith Rovers are using our astro turf to practice on.”