The project is part of the St Clements Wells mixed-tenure housing development on the outskirts of the village just outside Edinburgh, which has an overall budget of £18.9 million.
Deputy First Minister Swinney, also Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, attended the ceremony with officials from East Lothian Council, Hub South East, Morrison Central and Scottish Futures Trust.
The new school, which will replace the existing school building at Salters Road, will initially provide 28 classrooms, as well as 120 pre-school places.
The project also includes the creation of new community resources and has been designed to provide access to the library, sports and other non-teaching facilities without disruption to the school.
A further phase of development could see the expansion of the school for an eventual primary and pre-school roll of more than 1,300, making the new Wallyford Primary School one of the biggest in the county.
Hub South East is East Lothian Council’s development partner on the project, which is planned to be complete early in 2019.
Deputy First Minister Swinney said:
“At the outset of our Schools for the Future programme in 2009, we originally aimed to build or refurbish 55 schools across Scotland – we have now more than doubled that commitment and it is great to see work getting underway on increasing numbers of these projects, including Wallyford Primary School which will be a fantastic addition to the local community. This is part of our aim to provide our children and young people with inspiring environments which enable all of them to engage with their learning and I look forward to seeing this project when it is completed.”
Fiona Robertson, Head of Education at East Lothian Council, said:
“We are delighted that work on the new school in Wallyford has now started. The results of the consultation that was undertaken in 2016 showed that parents and carers were overwhelmingly supportive of the proposal to relocate the school to a new site. A new school and facilities will not only provide the best learning environment possible for local children, but it will also benefit the local community.”
Paul McGirk, Hub South East’s Chief Executive, said:
“It’s exciting to reach the key milestone of construction – making the plans for a new Wallyford Primary School a reality. This is a significant investment in education for our partner, East Lothian Council, and we look forward to working together to ensure that staff will have a new modern, fit-for-purpose learning environment, while local residents will be able to enjoy new community facilities such as a games hall and library.”
Billy Gray, Morrison Construction Framework Director, said:
“It’s fantastic news for all concerned that we are at this point now of starting on site at Wallyford Primary School. Morrison Construction has a strong track record in education projects and we hope to bring all that experience to bear in ensuring that the children of Wallyford receive a school building to be proud of. During construction we will continue to engage with stakeholders from the community, creating opportunities in education and employment, and ensuring the positive local impact of this development into the future."