Paralympian and double world champion Samantha Kinghorn was at the official opening of Duns Primary School this week to unveil a commemorative plaque.
On Monday, June 4, guests, pupils and staff gathered to watch Samantha and two student sport representatives, Maddie Rosher and Jesse Adeosun, reveal a plaque which will go on display at the entrance to the school.
Maddie (P6) participates in swimming, netball and cross country and is preparing for the gymnastic national semi-finals in Birmingham. Jesse is a keen runner and swimmer and is currently participating in football trials for the Borders Development Team.
They said: “It was such an honour to have Sammi come and open our school and to get the chance to meet her in person. She has achieved so much and is a real inspiration to us all.”
Guests had the chance to view a wall hanging created in honour of the occasion. Over 20 parents, grandparents and friends took part in the project with pupils helping out. Community sewing groups helped out too with contributions from the Duns ‘Needles and Natters’ group and craftswomen from Greenlaw, Cranshaws, Preston and Chirnside.
The £8.6 million Duns Primary and Berwickshire Locality Support Centre project saw the relocation of the school into the former high school building in August 2017.
Councillor Carol Hamilton, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for children and young people, said: “What a tremendous occasion the formal opening of Duns Primary School has turned out to be.
“I know how delighted pupils, staff and parents were when they moved in last year and they have certainly spent the past 10 months making this building their own.
“Today has been a chance to celebrate everything they have achieved since then, along with all the hopes and ambitions that everyone connected with this wonderful school has for the future.
“A special thanks must go to Sammi for taking the time from her busy schedule to be with us - her presence has been hugely appreciated.
“Thanks must also go to Maddie and Jesse for representing their school in such style, and also to all the pupils, staff, parents, relatives and friends who are involved with Duns Primary.
“Along with my fellow councillors, we would like to wish you every success as you continue to settle into your new home.
The project was delivered alongside development partner Hub South East Scotland and GRAHAM Construction.
The construction of the school provided a series of community benefits, including six new jobs, 96 work placement days, 550 pupil/student visits and six new and existing apprenticeships.
Paul McGirk, Hub South East’s chief executive, said: “We’re delighted to be invited back to Duns Primary for the official opening after successfully delivering this project last year, with our contractor GRAHAM Construction.
“It’s great to see how both pupils and staff have settled in and the feedback on the new facilities has been excellent. We look forward to working in partnership with Scottish Borders Council on future projects.”