AN ALTERNATIVE option to replace Viewforth High School with a new school catering for 600 pupils is being drawn up by Fife Council.
It comes in response to early consultations with parent councils, parents and the wider community in Kirkcaldy East, when strong opposition was expressed to a previous proposal to merge Viewforth with Kirkcaldy High to create one ‘super school’.
The Council had also consulted on other options for a new 1000-pupil school – costing around £28m – but they had all relied on contributions from housing developers in the Kirkcaldy East area, and there is no prospect of funding coming from that source any time soon as housebuilding is at a standstill in the current economic climate.
Refurbishing the existing school was another option, but with the cost being around £22m, it was decided to explore the possibility of building a smaller new school for a similar sum.
Council leader Alex Rowley revealed the latest option at yesterday’s Kirkcaldy area committee meeting.
He said: “We’re not going to consult and listen to parents, and then ignore what they are saying.
‘‘If the merger proposal doesn’t have their support then we’re not going to take that option.
“We are trying to develop another option for a new school, which would involve building a school for 600 pupils, with the ability to add to it when required and when funding does become available from developer contributions.”
He said architects, and directors of education and finance had been tasked with putting the option together and coming up with a realistic timescale.
He added Windmill Playing Fields had been identified as a potential site for the school and the new option would go out for consultation.
Councillor Arthur Morrison had been strongly opposed to the merger option and said he was very pleased this had been dropped.
He added: “Having a high school nearby can attract people to live and buy houses in Kirkcaldy East.”