The Cabinet Secretary was joined by Shetland Islands Council’s Convener, Malcolm Bell, and Leader, Gary Robinson, as well as the Chair and Vice-Chair of the SIC’s Education and Families Committee, Vaila Wishart and George Smith, and Chief Executive Mark Boden. Also in attendance were representatives from hub North Scotland, main contractor Morrison Construction, and Ryder Architecture.
Ms Constance laid the first stone of what will eventually become a ‘memory cairn’, to be made up of rocks gathered by pupils and schools from all around Shetland.
The Cabinet Secretary said: “I’m delighted I could be here to be part of this exciting milestone for the new Anderson High School. Given its remote location, this project is one of the most significant to be built under our Schools for the Future programme and I’m pleased the Scottish Government could contribute more than £36 million towards the cost.
“The new school will be a fantastic environment for young people to learn in and will provide modern facilities the whole community will enjoy for generations to come.”
SIC Leader Gary Robinson said: “I’m very pleased to be able to welcome the Cabinet Secretary here today for this ceremony. It’s tremendous to be able to see this project begin to take shape on the ground, and I look forward to the day in the not too distant future when we can celebrate the opening of Shetland’s new high school.”
Angus Macfarlane, chief executive of hub North Scotland, the development partner for the new Anderson High School project, said: “Following on from the project recently reaching financial close, this is an equally important milestone for the construction of the new school and one that we are delighted to reach. Today’s event marks the start in construction of a facility that will have a major impact in shaping the education of pupils across Shetland and we are determined to provide a school that its stakeholders will be proud of.”
Donald Mclachlan, regional director of Morrison Construction, said: “The unveiling of this foundation stone is symbolic for us, not just of the beginnings of the new high school, but also of the lasting impact a project like this will have on the local community. We will be working hard with all the stakeholders involved to maximise the opportunities that this project can create for local people and local businesses, while providing pupils and staff with a high quality educational facility that will stand the test of time.”