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Dundee West MSP Joe FitzPatrick has today [18 November] given a welcome to the setting up of a Board to take forward a design for a new school building for Harris Academy. The MSP believes that the move, to be announced at the meeting of the Education Committee at Dundee City Council early next week, will be  a major boost for the project.

Joe FitzPatrick said: “This is a big step forward for Harris and will result in progress towards a design for the new school which will ensure it has the best modern facilities whilst conforming to the requirements of Historic Scotland in terms of retention of the historic façade.

“The project benefits from the Scottish Government’s school building programme, Building Better Schools: Investing in Our Future with two-thirds of the £31.25m being overseen by the Scottish Futures Trust.

“Dundee City Council are to be commended for moving quickly to get this project up and running.”

Local SNP Councillor Jim Barrie, a former Harris pupil, joined his colleague in welcoming the announcement.

Councillor Barrie said: “I have been keen to get Harris upgraded and am glad to be able to participate in the planning for the new school.

“Many of the classrooms have not changed since I was a pupil at the Harris.

“The fact that the school continues to be one of the best in the city is a credit to both the staff and pupils working there.

“The new Board will be able to bring a wide range of expertise and experience to bear in creating a new school as it includes the current headteacher, representatives of the teaching unions, parents council, Council officials and the local Councillors.

“I am looking forward to being involved early in the new year in the ongoing planning work of the Board.”