Work on a new Fife secondary school could finally start as soon as Monday.
This week, Fife councillors agreed to purchase a site that would allow the long-awaited new college in St Andrews to begin construction.
The site at Langlands will be bought from the University of St Andrews.
In turn, it will take the South Street campus which will be leased back f for a nominal rent until the new school is built.
Officers told councillors that ground could be broken on the new school as early as Monday, with an expectation that children could finally be at their desks from 2021.
Councillor Craig Walker, convener of the assets, property and facilities committee, said: “This is quite a momentous day.
“We have been working with the university for some time to get to this point. A tremendous amount of work has gone on in the background to make sure that we are still on time to have a new school built for 2021.
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“The £250m ‘Building Fife’s Future Programme’ has seen five secondary schools and two primary schools built in Fife over the last 10 years. A new Madras College will complete the programme.” He added: “In the next phase we hope to provide a replacement for St Columba’s RC and Woodmill High Schools, Dunfermline, on a community campus which could include a new Fife College, as well as a replacement for Inverkeithing High.” He hailed it as “an an exciting time for education in Fife” and added: “Providing innovative, modern new buildings for our children is key to delivering the best of education for all. A new Madras has been a long-awaited dream about to come true.”
Councillor Ann Verner added: “I am thrilled that this is finally going ahead. Pupils and parents have waited too long and they, and the St Andrews wider community, deserve a new ‘fit for purpose school’ and we must now do all we can to ensure that happens.
“I’m delighted to receive assurances that work on the new Madras is scheduled to start on Monday.”
Cllr Bill Connor agreed, saying: “It is great that it was brought here rather than waiting months to get it agreed. I’m sure it is a decision that will be welcomed by every parent and child.
“For work to be starting on Monday, to say it’s really good is an understatement. It’s unbelievable and I’m delighted.”