Broadford school cash approved
FUNDING for a new building at Broadford Primary School has been approved.
The Highland Council's new people’s committee, which includes education as part of its remit, rubber-stamped £ 350,000 funding for new modular classrooms to replace old, leaking cabin classrooms.
The modular classrooms are now in place and it is hoped pupils and teachers will be able to use them before the summer break. However, concerns remain over the overall poor condition of the main building which has damp problems stemming from its flat roof, the poor fabric of the building, peeling décor and inadequate toilet facilities.
It has yet to appear on the local authority’s capital funding project list, which has still to be finalised and discussed with the newly- elected members, despite a recent visit from Highland Council leader Margaret Davidson.
Councillor John Finlayson, who pressed the case for Broadford at the recent committee meeting, added: ‘I feel very strongly Broadford Primary School needs to appear on the council’s capital build programme very soon.
‘Children, parents and the community of Broadford deserve to have some indication of when they can expect a new school.’
Dingwall councillor Graham MacKenzie said during the meeting: ‘I know it’s not deliberate, but I get a bit twitchy about this concentration on Inverness schools.
‘I think we need to remember there are problems with schools right across the Highlands. I am all for looking at improvements but it has to be across the whole area.’
Councillor Finlayson backed Mr MacKenzie saying: ‘I ask people not to forget the isle of Skye. The council was in Skye recently and there are issues with school buildings there. Hopefully there will possibly be a new build, so don’t forget about us.’
Mr Finlayson said renovation of the dilapidated school needs to be fast-tracked.
‘During the last administration, a business plan was started about building a new school. This needs fast-tracked to ensure the young people of Broad- ford are educated in a school that is both wind and watertight and also fit for purpose to meet the demands of 21st century education,’ he said.
‘Along with all the other councillors on Skye, we will be working hard to ensure a new school is built in Broadford. It is encouraging to get support from our local MSP.
‘Hopefully we can all work together to support the children, parents and wider community of Broadford.’
Skye MSP Kate Forbes said she was pleased to hear the new modular classrooms for Gaelic medium pupils will soon be operational for staff and pupils but said the council cannot lose sight of the bigger picture.
‘ Whilst this short-term measure is welcome, I urge Highland Council not to lose sight of the bigger picture. Broadford Primary School requires multi-million-pound investment to bring the building up to the same standard as other Highland schools.
‘A review of the local authority’s capital programme is under way and the outcome of this will determine the level of funding and the timescale for future refurbishment.’