Calderhead High official opening
Pupils have had a few months to get used to the new £21million Calderhead High but parents got a tour when it was officially opened last week.
Provost Jim Robertson, also a Shotts councillor, did the honours at the town’s secondary school last week.
A surprise, but welcome addition to the proceedings, was the sounding of the Shotts Horn, which was blown to signify the official opening. The Shotts Horn has recently been restored and is an integral feature of the design enhancement of the school. It was thought to be a fitting surprise for the provost, who explained to the assembled guests, that as a miner working in the pits, he remembers the horn being sounded to signify the change of shift.
He said: “This is the third Calderhead High School building I’ve been involved in, which shows you how old I am.
“The council’s policy is to improve educational facilities and we are extremely proud to have been able to achieve this for the pupils and wider community.”
Work on the new campus started in June 2010 and pupils and staff moved in to the building in August this year. There is a state of the art recording studio, drama studio, fitness suite, library, resource centre and specialist classrooms for science, home economics and music.
Head teacher Linda Park said: “Our new school facilities are simply wonderful and it’s already having a big impact on the culture and spirit of the school.
“Fewer pupils are turning up late to school and our social areas provide a welcoming and secure place for pupils before school, at intervals and lunchtimes.
“The pupils have demonstrated a huge commitment to the school and are proud of the key role it plays in the community.
“They designed the lovely illuminated mural in the foyer and speak with passion and enthusiasm about their new school.”
She praised the staff for their tireless efforts and understanding throughout the entire process, adding: “Many gave up their weekend to ensure the school was ready for pupils returning to school after the summer break.
“It was wonderful on the first day to see the look of joy on pupils’ faces as they saw the school for the first time – and it’s fair to say that the smiles remain to this day, some four months later!”
Rev. Sheena Brown and Rev. Allan Brown (no relation) gave the blessing and dedication to the new school.
Jim Blair of contractors Balfour Beatty gave a short speech outlining the construction process.
Following the formal event, Provost Jim Robertson went outside to sound the Shotts Horn.
The exterior PE facilities are well under way and the school should have access to their new 3G floodlit football pitch and two smaller grass pitches by early next year.
Guests included leader of North Lanarkshire Council Councillor Jim McCabe, deputy lieutenant of Lanarkshire Helen Russell, Shotts MP Pamela Nash, Shotts MSP Alex Neil, chief executive of North Lanarkshire Council Gavin Whitefield and councillors Charlie Cefferty and Tommy Cochrane. The parent council were represented by Gary and Morrell Kerr.