A DELAY in completing the enabling works will not affect the timescale for the construction of a new high school in Peebles, claims Scottish Borders Council (SBC).

The works, including building physical education facilities and a 3G pitch, started in November and were due to be finished last week.

But the council says that the project has been impacted by “winter weather”.

SBC has not given a date by which it expects these works to be completed but says it is committed to the overall development being finished on time.

The school is being rebuilt, by council contractor BAM Construction Ltd, following a devastating fire at the end of November 2019.

The delay was revealed on Wednesday by the Parent Council’s new build sub group spokesperson, Tristan Compton.

Mr Compton said: “The project, for the PE facilities and 3G pitch, now appears to be severely delayed and is not expected to be complete until August.

“This will have a knock-on impact on beginning the works on the new school, and is having an impact now on pupils at PHS who do not have the summer athletics facilities they need outdoors.

“And [they] do not have the indoor sports facilities either due to the halls being in use for exams at this time of year.”

An SBC spokesperson said: “Scottish Borders Council has an obligation to complete the overall project and have the new Peebles High School open to young learners by December 2025.

“While the enabling works at the games hall and 3G pitch have been affected by winter weather, at this stage, this overall date is not at risk.

“The council’s appointed contractor has a track record of working with the council to deliver projects to agreed timescales and work to coordinate this and minimise impact on the day to day activities of the school continues.”

Mr Compton added: “I am concerned that if SBC cannot deliver the PE extension on time, the same team will have much bigger problems trying to deliver the much bigger new school.

“I understand makeshift changing rooms have been created by blacking-out the windows in classrooms, as the old changing facilities are also out of action, due to the PE block extension works overrunning by several months.”

Meanwhile, SBC confirmed that its updated plans for the high school building were available to view online at www.scotborders.gov.uk/peebleshighschoolnewbuild

Changes were made following feedback received at engagement sessions that took place in early February.

The amendments include a fully enclosed hall and performance space with a capacity for more than 340 people. The number of enclosed classrooms has also been increased.

Selkirkshire councillor Leagh Douglas, executive member for education & lifelong learning, said: “Our ambition from the outset of this project has been to deliver a world-class educational facility that will meet the needs of all pupils and provide them with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed for modern life.

“After carefully listening to the feedback received through the various engagement sessions held in February we have been able to address some of the concerns from within the community regarding the new school through further design changes.

“The updated designs are now available to view on our website and I would encourage anyone from the Peebles community to take a look at the changes that have been made."