The Rt Hon Gordon Brown was joined by the school community and invited guests to officially declare West Lothian’s biggest single investment in education open.
Hosted by West Calder’s School Captains Emma Govan and Michael MacLellan, the special ceremony saw music and dance from pupils along with speeches from Gordon Brown, West Lothian’s Executive councillor for education David Dodds and West Calder Headteacher Julie Calder.
As UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown is an advocate on the importance of education as a fundamental right of every child, which is key to unlocking better health, greater social stability, more rights and opportunities for women and a higher standard of living.
Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: "This magnificent new school is a visible demonstration of ambition to be at the forefront of educational opportunity and achievement. At a cost of £32million, it is West Lothian’s biggest-ever single investment in education.
"We now have a place of learning which is the most modern in the country - ecological and sustainable as well and I hope that all of the young people who pass through its doors are inspired to make the most of their talents to match the excellence of education in the school with the same excellence in their lives.”
The 1,100 capacity West Calder High School has been specially designed to be the ideal platform for learning, in line with the very latest in educational thinking.
Leader of West Lothian Council Lawrence Fitzpatrick said: “West Lothian Council is proud to have West Calder High School as the new flagship of our already excellent school estate, which is one of the best in Scotland thanks to our ongoing investment.
“It has been specially designed to give the best possible platform for learning to inspire more pupils to achieve their full potential.”
West Lothian’s Executive councillor for education David Dodds added: “I am delighted that the new state-of-the-art £32 million West Calder High School is now open, and helping to deliver a fantastic education experience for local young people.
“Attainment among our pupils has risen for sixth consecutive years in West Lothian. It’s vital we continue to support our young people to achieve by providing fantastic facilities for learning like this where we can.”
Morrison Construction Operation’s Director Allan Cunningham added: “We are very proud to have built this award-winning school, recognised by the industry for its design and delivery.
“We have not only been able to deliver this fantastic school to benefit the community but also the local economy, creating 27 jobs and supporting 71 new and existing trainees and apprentices during construction.”
West Calder High School was delivered to West Lothian Council by Hub South East through the Scottish Futures Trust's Scotland's Schools for the Future programme and was designed by Norr Architects.
Richard Park, Projects Director, Hub South East said: “It’s been a privilege to be entrusted to deliver West Lothian Council’s biggest single investment in education.
“It’s fantastic to see the positive feedback from pupils and staff and how the new inspiring learning space is enhancing the learner journey for West Calder’s young people. This project has demonstrated the true partnership ethos of the Hub initiative and we look forward to working on future developments together.”