Flag raised as first day of new Kelso High marked

Staff, councillor and pupil outside a new school building

Published: Tuesday, 14th November 2017

The new Kelso High School welcomed pupils for the first time on Tuesday 14 November.

The £22.5million facility will provide a host of modern facilities for pupils and the community to enjoy.

Opening ceremony for Kelso High

There was a short ceremony to mark the first day at which some pupils from Kelso Pipe Band played. Ellis Murray and Councillor Carol Hamilton, Executive Member for Children and Young People cut the ribbon.

The historic Kelso High flag was raised by Head Boy, Charlie Graves and Head Girl, Aimee Martin. The flag had flown at the old high school for many years and was lowered in a ceremony on Tuesday 7 November to mark its last day.

New Kelso High School facilities

Facilities at the new school include:

  • 3G sports pitch and 2G hockey pitch
  • grass playing fields
  • 100 metre sprint track
  • long jump pit
  • netball court
  • eco-garden pond
  • space for an orchard and allotment
  • outdoor classroom
  • arts and craft garden

A new library and gym is also part of the facilities on offer.

Building work completed on target

The hard work of our project team, alongside partners, resulted in the new school being completed by its autumn 2017 target.

Other new build schools in the Scottish Borders

The new Kelso High is the latest new school to open in the Borders.

Langlee and Duns primaries were completed in August this year.

Broomlands Primary is due to open in early 2018.

Jedburgh Intergenerational Community Campus is currently seeking planning approval.

Cllr Carol Hamilton, Executive Member for Children and Young People

“This is a significant day for the town of Kelso.

“The new high school will transform education in Kelso and will provide much improved facilities not only for pupils but importantly for the whole community.

“The previous high school had served the town well since 1939 but there is no doubt the new facility will provide additional benefits.

“I would like to congratulate the Council’s project team for the considerable efforts to get the new school completed on time, as well as the local residents and Kelso Races for their co-operation during the works.

“As part of the School Estates Review, the Council will continue to carry out considerable research and consultation so that our children and the wider community can have the best places for learning.”

The school has been funded by the Scottish Government through its Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme, which is managed by the Scottish Futures Trust.

We have delivered this in partnership with Hub South East Scotland and our appointed contractor Morrison Construction.

Paul McGirk, Hub South East’s Chief Executive

“We’re proud to have delivered the new Kelso High School, not only on time and on budget, but to an extremely high standard - ensuring high quality and value for money for our client.

“This project has been a fantastic example of partnership working and will provide a modern learning experience for pupils, as well as being a real asset to the community of Kelso.

“We look forward to continuing this successful relationship with Scottish Borders Council as we deliver future projects together.”

David Wilson, Morrison Construction’s Operations Director

“It is a great to be at Kelso High School as pupils and staff enjoy their first day in their new school.

“This new education facility will benefit not only current and future students, but the wider community too.

“It’s also extremely encouraging to know that the project has been able to directly benefit the community, supporting six trainees, eight apprentices and creating 45 new jobs during construction.”

Gemma Boggs, Education Delivery Director at the Scottish Futures Trust

“Well designed buildings, built for community use, have the power to transform lives.

“Through our Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme, new schools such as Kelso High School are doing just that – creating employment, helping the environment, as well as providing locals with much improved places for them to learn, visit or work.”

Further information

Images of the first day of the new Kelso High School – and from the last day of the old school on 7 November - are available on our Flickr page.

Take a virtual tour of Kelso High School

An official opening ceremony for the new school will take place in early 2018.