New Denholm Primary opens

It was an emotional day at Denholm Primary School on Monday as the new school was officially opened by special guest, children's author and illustrator, Debi Gliori.

The school, which opened for classes in October 2008, replaces the previous building which was destroyed by a fire in April 2006.

Designed by Scottish Borders Council (SBC) Architects, the new five classroom primary school and nursery is packed with environmental features including carbon-free ground source heating, photo voltaic panels, rainwater harvesting and very high energy efficiency levels.

Pupils gave invited guests special tours of the new school and then led them to their new gym hall where the official opening ceremony took place.

Acting Headteacher Avril Gibson welcomed guests: "This is a very special occasion for the pupils, staff and parents here at Denholm. We have been through a very challenging time but we have kept an amazing spirit. The support we have received from SBC has quite simply been fantastic. It is a beautiful school to come to everyday and it is a pleasure to see the pupils back at home in this wonderful school in Denholm."

Avril then praised SBC's Architect Ray Cherry for his enthusiasm in the design of the school: "When we met Ray Cherry, SBC's architect who was going to design the new school, we knew something special was going to come of it. His enthusiasm for the project was infectious and he was determined to ensure the school was everything we wanted with input from pupils, parents and staff."

The pupils gave the audience an emotional insight into their journey, performing three special songs composed by their music teacher Mrs Abernethy - 'Denholm really is the best'; 'The Denholm Phoenix' and 'Back home in Denholm'. All three songs described the emotions throughout their journey - from the devastation of the fire, to the joy of returning back home to Denholm.

Executive Member for Education, Councillor Catriona Bhatia, commended the pupils' performances and also their spirit throughout their journey: "Denholm is truly a beautiful village, so it is wonderful to see such a beautiful school with some fantastic features which complement its lovely setting in the heart of Denholm. The story of this new school had a shocking beginning, and the journey you have all experienced is what makes you unique. Experiencing difficult times brings out the best in people and I am confident that you will all go on to lead very happy and successful lives because of your experiences. It just shows the spirit of Denholm is not as easily destroyed as the old building was."

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