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£48m Hawick High School vision goes public

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September 30 2021

£48m Hawick High School vision goes public

Scottish Borders Council and Stallan-Brand Architects have shared an ambitious school replacement project in Hawick that promises to reshape education in the town.

The radical vision would see the £48m Hawick High School rise alongside the existing school through 2026/27, maintaining continuity of education for students throughout, with the historic school being demolished thereafter.

This approach will enable the new school to remain at the heart of the community through the creation of a public entrance plaza and improved connections to Volunteer Park.

The four-storey school emphasises light and collaborative learning with generous communal areas encouraging learning beyond the classroom, including within an enhanced outdoor landscape of teaching areas, a performance amphitheatre, playing fields and a growing space.

Provost Watson McAteer told the SouthernReporter: "This design does not incorporate any of the existing school. However at this stage that does not mean the old 1860 building will be demolished. That is what will be decided during consultation.

"The key issue will be whether or not old and new can survive next to each other if there is to be a useful plan for the old.

"It is essential that the campus should be community-focused. I suspect the preference will be for a ‘clean’ site as described here but we will need to wait.”

Community consultations will continue throughout the year to gauge the views of the wider community.

A new entrance plaza will front the main atrium
A new entrance plaza will front the main atrium
Generous communal spaces encourage collaborative learning
Generous communal spaces encourage collaborative learning

Improved facilities such as this library will enhance education provision
Improved facilities such as this library will enhance education provision
The four-storey block will be built in a single phase within the current school grounds
The four-storey block will be built in a single phase within the current school grounds

8 Comments

The Flâneur
#1 Posted by The Flâneur on 30 Sep 2021 at 10:00 AM
Dear Urban Realm, this is not to in anyway denigrate Stallan-Brand Architects' efforts which look interesting, however, could you kindly post an image of the original 1860 Hawick High School as it is a pretty grand building which any town would be proud of and yet is curiously unlisted (I wonder why?). Given that we are in the middle of a climate emergency, I politely suggest that only an ignorant muppet would contemplate demolishing a handsome stone building which has survived in use for 161 years! Retrofit first please…
The Flâneur
#2 Posted by The Flâneur on 30 Sep 2021 at 10:08 AM
Many thanks for including the link to Google Streetview, Urban Realm and I rest my case!
Urban Realm
#3 Posted by Urban Realm on 30 Sep 2021 at 10:15 AM
The extensions are no loss but the main 1860 building is certainly worth retaining, though rebuilt in the 1920s after a fire.
Lindsay Buchan
#4 Posted by Lindsay Buchan on 30 Sep 2021 at 15:04 PM
Looks fab but given the apparent lack of funding into education where the heck do they get the money for these new schools? I work in the private school sector and I bet there isn't a school in the country that has money like that to spend on their campus!
C. McMillan
#5 Posted by C. McMillan on 1 Oct 2021 at 12:36 PM
As a local resident, this is exactly what our town needs!
As a former teacher at the High School, we all know that the existing building is not fit for purpose, and unlikely that it ever will be.
Sometimes we have to demolish the past to make way for the future. I can remember wading through 1m of river water flowing through my classroom, it took ages to dry out and still the dampness and smell lingered on for years to come.
Its time for the school to rise out the depths of the River Teviot and start to look to the future for all our youngsters.
Captain Planet
#6 Posted by Captain Planet on 1 Oct 2021 at 23:33 PM
#5 as a resident of planet earth it most certainly is not what you or your town needs. #1 is absolutely correct - we must be more resourceful! The existing school can be made to work. It is frivolous to suggest otherwise. The main reason retrofit isn't being entertained, I expect, is cost. It's high time we dragged ourselves out of the depths and started building smarter. The futures of all our children depend on it.
Neil McAllister
#7 Posted by Neil McAllister on 4 Oct 2021 at 14:29 PM
Probably the main reason retrofit isn't being proposed is because logistically it is much easier to build a new school while the old one is still running and then move into a brand new school than either finiding temporary accomodation or doing a major retrofit while in operation.

In other places (such as Boroughmuir for instance) they have built new on a new site and then the old building have been retrofitted for another purpose, such as housing. I don't know Hawick well enough to know if this would be viable.
E=mc2
#8 Posted by E=mc2 on 8 Oct 2021 at 18:28 PM
There is a flooding issue with the site that needs to be resolved in both any retained structures or new build elements

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