Feb 4 2010 by Marjorie Kerr, West Lothian Courier
THE £20 million refurbishment of a West Lothian school has been officially unveiled at a special ceremony.
Pupils and staff at Inveralmond Community High School in Livingston, joined in the celebrations to mark the completion of the facelift and extension of their school.
Work on the school is the final element of a major investment in secondary schools by West Lothian Council.
And leader of West Lothian Council, Councillor Peter Johnston, unveiled a plaque at the school to celebrate the completion of the work.
Speaking at the event Councillor Johnston commented: “Having served as the councillor for Ladywell for the last 25 years I am absolutely delighted to have been invited to perform the official completion of the refurbishment and extension to our local high school.
“I have followed the progress of the refurbishment with great interest and I have seen an exciting and far-reaching transformation which is effectively providing a brand new school.
“I’m confident that the pupils, staff and the local community will be very proud of the school and their community facilities.
“Indeed I know that the pupils are already making good use of the assembly hall and recently staged an extremely successful charity concert.”
As well as a complete refurbishment, work included the building of entirely new areas including a reception area for community users, an impressive assembly hall with retractable bleachers seating, new pupil support rooms and redesign of the craft, design and technology and home economics departments.
An external changing block has been built to support use of the all-weather pitch and the music department now have a recording studio facility.
New windows and increased insulation will provide much-improved working environments for pupils and staff.
There are interactive whiteboards in all classrooms and there will be wi-fi access across the entire school.
The building work was completed within 20 months.
During this time the subject departments were decanted into 20 temporary teaching units in a rolling programme.
This was a difficult time for staff and pupils but all rose to the challenge and the work was all completed to a high specification on time.
Refurbishments are always difficult projects with a live school and the success of the project was, in many ways, due to the commitment of the staff, the skills of the senior management team and the very effective work by the school liaison officer, David McGhee.
The pupils have been delighted with the improvements – especially the new assembly hall, the drama studio, the dance studio and the improved sport facilities.
Bill Tevendale, head teacher, said: “The transformation of the school and the improvement has been remarkable, and has set Inveralmond up to enjoy another 30 years as one of Scotland’s leading community schools.
“I must pay tribute to the staff and the pupils who have accommodated and supported the refurbishment, and express my appreciation to the council for their confidence and the magnificent investment.”