Editorial: The Old Rock 28/8/09

Decision on AHS site must be final

Ambivalance must end Councillors should be currently digesting the independent review, co-ordinated by consultant Andrew Laidler, to compare the two proposed sites for Lerwick’s new Anderson High School.

By general consensus it appears that most people are now in favour of building the school at the lower Staney Hill, whether they be concerned parents, residents, teachers, architects and education officials.

The cost consultants’ report is the only one in favour of the existing Knab location, with the review estimating that it could cost between £6 and £10 million more to shift to the Clickimin site.

Rock removal and blasting into the hillside is put at around £3.5 million extra, plus £200,000 to acquire the site and a further £500,000 needed for a new roundabout to provide better access to the school. Design fees and replacing the existing additional support needs building could also add a further £2 million apiece.

Perhaps the best site of all would have been at the Ness of Sound/Seafield, which the council already owns and an area where much of the extra cost could be greatly reduced, but that is currently not on the agenda.

Our elected members face a tough decision when they meet next Thursday, but this time they must be final. Ambivalence over the future of our secondary children’s schooling can not be allowed to rumble on.

Significantly, the education impact review could provide an important pointer. The council has a choice of building “a flagship secondary on the Clickmin site” or “a satisfactory school on the Knab site”, it states.

Better late than never

The country’s premier Shetland pony show was finally brought to the home of the animal last week, and by all accounts the various events on offer were well received.

The weather, thankfully, held fair for the main activities on Saturday, and even though the visiting ponies got a taste of real Shetland conditions the following day, it did not appear to deter the enjoyment.

On the local show scene in general, those at Voe, Cunningsburgh and Walls were the usual success, with rain not managing to dampen the latter too much. Tomorrow it is the turn of Unst, with Yell scheduled for next weekend. Hopefully the form will continue.


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