Pupils consign time capsule to hidden basement in Inverness school.

Photo of Central primary time capsule
Kneeling - youngest pupil in Central Primary School, Kuba Kiwior passes time capsule box to Greg Cooper, Site Manager, Morgan Sindall. Looking on are: (ltor) Jeannette Murray P3/4 Class Teacher; Alicja Blaszczak; Ian MacDonald, Contracts Manager, Morgan Sindall; Lily Kelman; Liam Mapplebeck (oldest pupil in school)

Photo of basement

A time capsule has been consigned to a previously unknown basement in Central Primary School, Inverness to remain there for the next 50 years.

Highland Council’s contractors, Morgan Sindall, discovered the secret basement during works on the £1.2 million contract to refurbish Central Primary School.

The basement, which was not on any plans or records, was found underneath the floor of what used to be the toilets of the former Gaelic Unit in the school and will become the new main entrance to the new nursery and canteen.

Head Teacher Derek Martin explained: “It was a huge surprise to us all. The Morgan Sindall project team found a hatch underneath the flooring which led to a basement which had the remains of an old coal boiler in it. We think that the basement would have been a boiler room to heat the building. Previously there would have been coal chutes outside which were long since bricked over.

“Our P3/4 Class Teacher Jeannette Murray and Teacher Miss Amy Slater worked with the pupils to create a time capsule which they would place in the basement with a desk and an old computer. The children embraced the idea and put together their ideas of what they wanted to go into the capsule.”

The objects chosen to go into the capsule included: a letter explaining what the time capsule is and why it was placed in the basement: a school sweatshirt and polo shirt; a school handbook for 2014; local newspapers featuring WW1 commemorations; photos of the old school building; and examples of the Primary 1 children’s’ work including stories about what they think the new school will be like in the future.

Also chosen by the children to go into the capsule were a World Cup football book; a 1 Direction CD; a Frozen DVD (being the highest grossing animated film to date); a Minecraft book; a small bag of Moshi Monsters; a Lego box-set and some sweet wrappers (the sweets eaten!).

Mark McBride, Area Director for Morgan Sindall said: “As expected with historical buildings there are often a few surprises in works of this nature, but the hidden basement was totally unexpected. We were delighted to work with the school and children to help them mark the importance of these works by placing their own piece of history into the building.”

A small plaque will be placed on the wall of the new entrance hall to the building indicating that the basement exists and that it should not be opened until the year 2064.

Central Primary School, built over 100 years ago, is the oldest school in Inverness. Morgan Sindall is refurbishing two of the school’s three buildings, while the children carry on with their studies. Work is expected to complete in Autumn 2014.

Ian MacDonald, Contracts Manager at Morgan Sindall said: “As expected with historical buildings there are often a few surprises in works of this nature – but the hidden basement was totally unexpected. We were delighted to work with the school and children to help them mark the importance of these works by placing their own piece of history into the building.”

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25 Jun 2014
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