The latest grammar school is now officially open

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Founded in 1686, the new school is state-of-the-art

Campbeltown Grammar School was officially opened on Monday when a host of guests could find out for themselves what the pupils and staff have known since the doors opened in February 2018 – that the new school is a fantastic asset to the community.

The £26 million three-storey building can cater for up to 500 pupils, has a large, bright and airy central atrium that provides an assembly and dining area for daily school life, and state-of-the-art classrooms for specialist subjects.

The music department is especially impressive, as befits a community with music at its heart. The Kintyre Schools Pipe Band, School Wind Band, and Brass Ensemble all performed at the opening ceremony.

It is all a far cry from the old school, built in 1969, which was infamous for its flaws. Windows falling out were a regular occurrence and many were sealed shut.

‘In my new classroom I have functioning windows and I don’t have to wear a jacket,’ said Elaine McGeachy, depute head teacher, in her opening remarks.

The new school also has an incredible sports hall, also available for community use, and on the site of the old school there is now a new 3G sports pitch, a car park and a music pavilion for use by the pipe band and other music groups.

Guests were taken on group tours of the school guided by students Kyle MacLean, Leah Russell, Imogen Houston, Euan Dott, Chloe Croft and Jasmine Koliskba before a buffet lunch and the opening ceremony which was held in the main sports hall.

School captains for 2018-19, Kyle MacLean and Imogen Houston, led the ceremony, which included presentations by CGS4Gambia, school sports’ leaders, Erasmus Project members, and presentations by pupils taking part in the Youth Philanthropy Initiative Scotland, and Rights Respecting Schools Awards run by Unicef UK.

In her speech at the opening, Anne Paterson, Argyll and Bute Council’s chief education officer, remembered former head teacher, the late Catriona Hood, ‘who was so excited about this building and the pupils who were so dear to her’.

Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell and MP Brendan O’Hara did not attend but sent goodwill messages via video recordings.

The school was officially declared open by Councillor Yvonne McNeilly, policy lead for education at Argyll and Bute.

As head teacher David Fyfe closed the ceremony, he said: ‘We will make Campbeltown Grammar School the very best it can be for our young people and the Campbeltown community.’