The Clickimin Centre is set to become the sports hall for the new Anderson High School, saving Shetland Islands Council money by avoiding the need for a new building.
The council and hub North Scotland, which will build the new school, have been assessing the leisure centre with a view to using it for PE lessons as it is or with some alterations, according to the council’s children’s services quality improvement manager Jerry Edwards.
“We have the basis of a plan with the PE department as to how it could work,” he told Lerwick Community Council on Monday evening.
The school’s physical education teachers would be responsible for the pupils when they used Clickimin.
Several community councillors warned there would be public concern about loss of access to the Clickimin during school hours. Emma Williamson predicted “some upset” from people who had to change their routines. “There will be problems with it.”
However, other members reckoned it would be possible to use curtains and screens to keep some parts of the games hall available to the public while the rest was given over to the school.
Meanwhile, Mr Edwards revealed that the local authority expects to get roughly £23 million from the Scottish government to help build the new AHS through Scotland’s Schools for the Future programme.
The estimate is based on previous grants which provided £1,900 per square metre and allowed 11 square metres of space for each pupil. An extra 25 per cent is added because of the costs of building in Shetland.
On top of that the council hopes to claim for a hostel and a centre for pupils with additional support needs on a “like-for-like basis”. However, Mr Edwards said not much work had been done on planning the hostel and no decision has yet been taken on where it will be sited.
He was confident that the AHS would be able to open its doors after the summer holidays in 2016, although he admitted some people were sceptical. The target date was set according to the timescales achieved for the new secondary schools in Stornoway and Kirkwall.