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of the British Broadcasting Corporation

 

 

Wednesday, 7 November 2007, 14:59 GMT
Sadness as blaze damages school


Parents and pupils have spoken of their sadness after a fire caused massive damage to the new £9m Maddiston Primary School near Falkirk.

Mother-of-four Shirley Maxwell has three children who were set to move into the new school next year.

She was awoken by a neighbour who told her of the blaze.

She expressed concern about what will happen now and how long pupils will have to remain in the 110-year-old school they were set to leave behind.

Ms Maxwell said: "The children were due to move in a couple of months ago but things were delayed.

"What's happened now is a real setback and means it could be another six months at least before the new school is ready.

The children are just devastated. They were really looking forward to getting into the new classrooms
Shirley Maxwell

"The children are just devastated. They were really looking forward to getting into the new classrooms.

"The school they are in just now is too small to cope."

At present, 320 pupils are enrolled at the school. The new building will have the capacity to accommodate 434.

Acting deputy head teacher Lynda Balmer said: "Staff have been waiting to move for such a long time.

"We are using every inch of space here in the old premises, it is very cramped, and everyone was looking forward to moving.

"It's quite heartbreaking for all of us."

She added: "Everyone here is devastated, but Maddiston is a strong community and I am sure we will get through this."

Falkirk Council said the building - which featured a new gym, library and nursery - would be rebuilt as a "matter of priority".