THE £10 million-plus extension to Dunbar Grammar School – featuring new classrooms, a new library, and a large ‘social hub’ – should be complete by late October.

A first phase, which included expanding the pupils’ social area to create a large, airy space to eat and meet, was finished in summer 2016.

The latest work consists of a new two-storey L-shaped block to the east side of the school to include additional classrooms and staff bases, a new home economics department, a new library and learning centre with a dedicated IT space, additional PE changing rooms, and new suited accommodation for pupil and learning support.

Paul Raffaelli, who steps down as headteacher at the school this summer, said: “This is a really exciting project and our staff and students have enjoyed seeing the progress made on-site on a daily basis.

“Our student council and staff enjoyed being involved in the design phase, together with the architects and builders, and we can’t wait to see the finished building.

“We have been keeping the school community up to date with a weekly email newsletter, together with photos taken by one of our photography students, which can also be viewed on our website.”

At the heart of the new accommodation will be a large covered ‘social hub’ – a flexible multi-use space that can be used for a variety of purposes including group and individual teaching, presentations and other social uses.

Alterations are also being made to the existing school building to maximise the use of existing spaces and provide additional science labs, technology rooms, a new drama studio and more craft, design and technology spaces.

There will also be a new full-sized, all-weather sports pitch in the school grounds.

Alan Joyce, FES Support Services project development manager, said the scheme was “progressing well” and remained on schedule.

He added: “Our site team are working well in collaboration with the East Lothian Council project team and Dunbar Grammar management team in co-ordinating, communicating and scheduling construction activities to ensure there is minimal impact on day-to-day curricular activities whilst also placing primary focus on delivering the works safely within a challenging live environment.”

The council has procured the expansion works via the existing PPP Project contract with Innovate East Lothian Limited at a total cost of £10.38m.

Councillor Shamin Akhtar, East Lothian Council’s cabinet spokeswoman for education and children’s services, said: “Phased completion arrangements are being developed to ensure there is sufficient classroom accommodation for pupils who will be returning after the summer whilst other works continue, which are expected to be completed in October.

“The school’s new extension and its facilities will bring considerable benefits to the school and its students, and will enrich the education experience of all the young people in Dunbar and the area.”