Celebrations mark official opening of Caol campus
CELEBRATIONS were held in Lochaber last Friday as Caol Joint Campus was officially opened.
Senior pupils gave invited guests tours of the campus comprising Caol Primary School, St Columba’s Primary School and Caol Community Centre before the opening ceremony.
Bishop Brian McGee, Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, and Duncan Shearer, former pupil of Caol Primary School and former professional footballer, unveiled a commemorative opening plaque.
Bishop McGee said: ‘I wish to congratulate staff and pupils of St Columba’s RC Primary School on their new joint school campus. This is not the first St Columba’s Primary School in Lochaber. The original St Columba’s primary was opened at Lochyside in 1964, so it is fitting the new school has the same name. My wish is St Columba’s Primary School in Caol will continue to be a strong community of faith and learning where all children and staff can live their lives to the full and bring light to the wider community.’
Duncan said it was an honour to participate in the opening ceremony as the school played a ‘ big part’ in his journey to become a footballer.
‘I was born less than 100 yards from the school and consider it a privilege to be asked to open the new Caol Primary School,’ he said.
The current pupil roll at St Columba’s is 100 primary and 11 nursery pupils, while at Caol 234 primary and 71 nursery pupils are enrolled.
Violet Smith, head teacher at St Columba’s RC Primary School, said the new joint campus provided ‘a very bright, vibrant learning environment for pupils and staff’.
Caol Primary School head teacher Steven Hamilton said: ‘ We love the fact we have a shared campus with friends and colleagues who are able to work and share together.’ Donnie Corbett, chairman of Caol Regeneration Company, opened the new community centre which includes a youth centre and cafe and the Room 13 art studio. The space is open to a variety of Lochaber-based groups.
Bishop McGee, left, unveils the Caol and St Columba’s plaque with Duncan Shearer at the new joint campus.