Contract awarded for new Portree Gaelic Primary School
The Council has awarded the £8.7 million contract for the new Portree Gaelic Primary School to Robertson Construction.
Skye Councillor Drew Millar, and Chair of the Education, Children & Adult Services Committee, announced the contract at the first meeting of the Skye Area committee on Monday (29 February). He said: “The Portree Gaelic Primary School will be a great asset to the Gaelic community across the west Highlands, and it will help to sustain and progress Gaelic Medium Education on the island. This announcement today is a great step forward which will be welcomed by the parents who for many years have campaigned for a stand alone Gaelic school in Portree, and I look forward to work starting on the new school."
Chair of the Council's Gaelic Implementation Group Cllr Hamish Fraser added: "This is a major welcome leap forward for the development of the Gaelic language in the Highlands and the Gaelic heartland of Skye. I have absolutely no doubt that the new standalone school in Portree will prove a great success and nurture many more Gaelic speakers.
"It is also important to recognise the teamwork between Members, Council Officers and local parents to secure the delivery of a Gaelic Primary School in Portree. The completion of this project will see Highland Council delivering two new standalone Gaelic Primary Schools in Fort William and in Portree within 2 years of each other, and which will complement Scotland’s other standalone Gaelic Primary Schools in Inverness, Glasgow and Edinburgh.”
The contract is part of an overall capital investment programme of £14.8 million in Portree which also includes the formation of a new access road to the school, refurbishment of the former Elgin Hostel building to create a new pupil residence at Portree High, and the demolition of the former Boys’ and Margaret Carnegie residence buildings. The Scottish Government has contributed £4.75 million to the school project.
The new residence will open after the Easter holidays and the first phase of demolition works will start in March. Construction work on the new school will commence later this year and the building will open in late 2017. The actual programme dates will be confirmed once a meeting has taken place with the contractor.