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Visualisation of new Roslin PS © AHR Global/Midlothian Council

Primary Schools in for Planning

Midlothian Council have brought forward applications to replace two ageing primary schools in the A701 corridor.

Paradykes and Roslin could soon house new educational establishments designed by architecture firm AHR Global, should planning permission be given by the council’s planning committee.

Earlier this year, Midlothian Council held consultations with the affected communities to hear their views on what the buildings should look like and provide. These views, accompanied by the design ideas of the multinational architecture practice, have given way to two proposals for the respective replacements.

Paradykes Primary School in Loanhead will be replaced by a new mixed use building, encompassing: a nursery, early years facility, after school club, library, primary school, leisure and health centres. It will be built on land currently occupied by the Loanhead Leisure Centre, which will be kept and refurbished as part of the proposals. Separate entrances will mark the use of the interior spaces, with pupils and nursery children entering from Mayburn Avenue, and GP patients, leisure centre users and after school attendees entering from George Avenue. A large drop off terminus and car park will run the entire southern side of the building. Primary one and two pupils will have access from their classrooms onto the external playground whilst the older years will be located on the second floor.

AHR Global state in their design statement:

By uniting all the different building types in one facility it provides Loanhead with multi functional community facilities creating spaces that can be shared and thus work a little bit harder for the community. Previously the Assembly hall would lie empty at night when the school closes. Through liaison with the local community it has been shown that there are community groups, scouts, guides etc desperate for a space to accommodate them. Amalgamating the spaces together potentially allows parts of the building to function from 8
in morning until 8 at night, and at the weekends and school holidays.

Eleven consulting rooms will be created in the new building alongside 215 parking spaces. To view or comment on the plans, click here.

Meanwhile plans have been simultaneously submitted for a replacement primary school in Roslin. The new  building will be constructed on the current school’s playing fields and shall incorporate eleven classrooms, a small library and nursery. It will be single floor building but the majority of rooms will benefit from double height spaces, some with views onto the Pentlands. An artificial football pitch is also planned north of the school.

To view or comment on the plans, click here.

Midlothian Council hope to start construction early next year with the intention of opening for the 2017/18 school term. Their new Bilston Primary School, which will replace an annexe of Roslin Primary, should be ready for the 2016/17 school year after construction got underway earlier this month.

The £20m investment into Paradykes and Roslin is being funded by the Scottish Schools for the Future Fund.

All eyes will turn to the county’s secondary schools once these developments are underway. The council are undertaking feasibility studies into opening a single site secondary school for Penicuik and relocating Beeslack further up the A701 to cater for the pupils arising from Loanhead, Bilston and Roslin. Should a forthcoming public consultation give way to positive results, a new secondary school could be open by 2020, though a second may still be a decade away. The immediate priority is to replace the historic Penicuik High School which has been given a worthiness rating of ‘C’, meaning it is in a state of disrepair. Beeslack Community High School has reopened following a complete roof renewal.

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