The headteacher at Saltersgate has spoken of his delight as the school’s £400,000 playground renovation project gets underway.
Work will begin in January, taking 12-16 weeks to transform the five play areas at the school - which caters for children aged five to 18 with complex additional support needs. The new playgrounds will include wheelchair swings, wheelchair trampolines, a new garden area, sensory equipment, an artificial hill and water features.
Headteacher Stephen Buggy said: “It’s a huge deal. It will allow the pupils to have meaningful structured play operated in a safe environment.
“Particularly for those with autism, it will give our pupils much needed stimulated activities. Most of them spend a big percentage of their time outdoors and that’s a massive benefit.
“Most of our playgrounds are tarmac but this will be different synthetic materials. Our playgrounds at the moment have limitations in what we can provide our pupils but these new playgrounds will open all that up to them.
“The sensory element and the learning to play will mean so much, allowing them to interact with their peers.”
Staff, parents and the local community raised £40,000, while the rest of the cost will be met by Midlothian Council. Mr Buggy added: “We have been fundraising for almost three years so it’s good to see it come together.
“Some of the local councillors committed their funds to this last year, then a report went to the council and councillors approved it in June.
“It’s great that we can now get the project started.”