Options appraisal proposal for Peebles High School site

Peebles High School fire

Published: Monday, 16th December 2019

Councillors will be asked to agree an options appraisal for Peebles High School to help decide the long-term plans for the site.

A number of Peebles High School’s buildings suffered significant fire and smoke damage following the incident on 28 November.

If approved at our full meeting on Thursday 19 December, the appraisal would be taken forward as a matter of urgency and would evaluate all potential options for the site.

Proposed appraisal details

  • The appraisal cost of £100k would be taken from our Emergency and Unplanned Capital Budget.
  • The appraisal would also be used to support future consultation with the Scottish Government, who have indicated their support for us in achieving the best possible final outcome.

Work is well underway to make the site safe, following an initial assessment of the fire, smoke and water damage.

The Peebles High site is secured, with security staff, CCTV and regular police patrols in place and people continue to be asked to stay away.

Updates continue to be made available on our dedicated pages.

Initial assessment

As part of the initial assessment, the site has been split into three areas.

Area One

The first area, which includes the Millennium Wing, science, drama, craft, design and technology and music classes, as well as the dining room, sports hall and assembly hall, has largely been unaffected by the fire.

This is the only area where personal possessions have been recovered from.

Area Two

The second area, which includes modern languages, additional needs, maths tower and reception area, has seen significant smoke damage in places, and/or limited fire damage.

Area Three

The third area, which includes the PE gymnasium, art classrooms, pupil support rooms and toilet area, has been worst affected with significant fire and/or smoke damage.

Emergency demolition works are underway in sections of this third area, which will allow further structural and safety investigations to be carried out. These investigations will include a series of safety checks and inspections, including by specialist fire remedial experts.

We are continuing to recover school material and belongings from the school site wherever possible but there are still some areas of the building, such as Areas 2 and 3, which are not yet accessible. 

Arrangements from January 2020

Work is now being undertaken to make plans for the medium to long term, focused on providing the best possible learning arrangements for all pupils. As part of the planning we will consider the upcoming prelims, study leave and plans for the exams after Easter. This work includes consideration of what options there may be on the Peebles High School site to accommodate pupils.

Chief Executive Tracey Logan

“While there is a significant focus on putting in place plans for teaching for the new term in January and beyond, we are also looking to the long term with this proposed full options appraisal to help us deliver the best solution for Peebles High School.

“We will continue to keep pupils, parents, carers and staff updated on a regular basis on all aspects of the recovery plan for Peebles High.”

Further information