Scottish village builds its own primary school

The inspirational citizens of a Scottish village have come together to build a new primary school for local children

A small community in the Scottish Highlands has decided to build its own primary school, according to the BBC.

Strontian Primary School, in the Ardnamuchan Peninsula, is swiftly ageing and increasingly unfit for purpose to support its 30 pupils.

While the Highland Council had proposed improvements, parents rejected the plans and decided to finance a new school building between them.

The new school, which is now complete, cost over £900,000 and has been designed in such a way that it can be converted into four affordable houses should it, one day, no longer be needed as a school.

Head teacher, Pamela Hill, said the original 1970s primary school building was now “a bit dated and sad.”

She said: “There is not much space for us at the moment.

“We really need a school that is a bit more up-to-date with technology suited for children for the 21st Century, and somewhere where there is a bit more space for them as well.”

Highland Council agreed that the original school was unfit, but it clashed with parents in offering improvement alternatives, creating a stalemate.

The idea for a community-built school emerged from local people’s work with the Highland Small Communities Housing Trust, which had some land available.

The school is being leased to the council for as long as it is needed in its current form. Eventually, the primary school may merge in the village’s secondary school.

Local Highland councillor Andrew Baxter said the work of Strontian’s “very talented community” could inspire other areas.

He said: “I think other communities in the Highlands and across the whole of Scotland could be looking at this and saying: ‘Yes, we could do this too’.”

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