Page last updated at 15:10 GMT, Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Pupils walk to new primary school

New Lauder Primary School
The new school has enough room for 275 pupils and a nursery

Lauder has become the latest community in the Borders to get a new primary school.

Led by two pipers, children and staff from Lauder Primary walked from the old school building to the state-of-the-art £6.6m premises at Allanbank.

Primary one pupil Tamsin Unthank and council leader David Parker cut a ribbon at the school's main entrance before pupils made their way to class.

The new school can accommodate 275 pupils as well as a nursery.

Lauder primary head teacher Alan Vannan paid tribute to all those involved in the scheme.

He said staff, parents and volunteers had played their part in helping move materials to the new premises.

The children will just love working in such a wonderful environment
Alan Vannan
Lauder Primary Head

"Very few head teachers have the opportunity to move into a brand new building and I keep having to pinch myself", he said.

"The biggest difference is space. The classrooms are stunning. We have a far bigger hall, separate dining room, tutorial rooms and a medical room. The children will just love working in such a wonderful environment."

Pupil Jack Dobie said he would miss the old building, which dates from the 1830s, but described the new school as "awesome".

And Adam Bryce-McVey said he liked everything about the new school, although he had lots of good things to remember about the old one.

Emma Counsell, also in primary 7, said she liked the new building because there was so much space.

The Lauder project is not the end to school replacement or refurbishment in the Borders.

Tamsin Unthank cutting ribbon
Pupil Tamsin Unthank cuts the ribbon to officially open the new school

Kingsland Primary School in Peebles is scheduled to move to brand new premises early in the new year.

The existing Kingsland building will then be refurbished for use by Halyrude RC Primary.

Work is scheduled to begin on a new primary school for Clovenfords in spring 2010. It will replace the cramped Caddonfoot Primary.

Duns Primary School will move to a refurbished Berwickshire High School building in the future.

And, by 2012, a new primary school should be ready for West Linton.

Councillor Catriona Bhatia, executive member for education at Borders Council, said more investment was a must.

She added: "Even when the current projects are complete, we'll have around 20 primary schools and three of our high schools which don't meet current standards.

"We need funding but I do not believe the Scottish government's system, as it stands, will deliver what we need."

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