Councillor Catriona Stewart, Chair of Education and Children’s Services at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar said: “This is an historic day for the provision of education in the Western Isles, and the Isle of Lewis in particular. It’s been a cause of great satisfaction for us as councillors to see the school being built in accordance to the timescale and budget set by the Comhairle three years ago, and I wish to thank the WISP team, Sgoiltean Ùra and FMP for all that they have done to achieve this. The result of their hard work is evident today as the new Nicolson Institute welcomes its first intake of senior pupils, in a quality building that will deliver quality education to the youth of Lewis.
We have a new school for the 21st century and each of the pupils starting this school year in the Nicolson Institute will benefit from access to the best facilities and resources that any school in Scotland has to offer, in an educational environment that is second to none. I wish the pupils, teachers, and school staff of the new school every success for the academic year ahead.”
“I would also like to pay tribute to my predecessor as Chair of Education and Children’s Services at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Morag Munro. Morag’s tireless work and unflinching support for the Western Isles Schools Project ensured that this project had the commitment and momentum behind it that was essential for it to succeed.”
Norman MacDonald, Convener of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Chair of Sgoiltean Ùra said “I am delighted to see yet another school from the Western Isles School Project completed on time and on budget. Staff and pupils have been able to start using the new Nicolson Institute this week, as planned, and we can all look forward to what is going to be an exciting new era in the history of the school. In terms of design and construction, this was the most ambitious building of the six new schools and the fact that it is open and fully operational for the start of the new school term is something that all those involved in its construction can be proud of. I thank them warmly for it.
As a former pupil of the Nicolson Institute I have to confess to a pang of envy that I couldn’t have had access to these excellent facilities when I was in school. I am sure that many of the pupils who are starting their school year will go on to achieve great things, as many of their predecessors have done, and I wish the school’s pupils, as well as their teachers and school staff, the very best for the year ahead.”
Frances Murray, Head Teacher of the Nicolson Institute, said: “As staff and pupils embark on a time of curricular change, it is wonderful that we do so in magnificent facilities, under one roof, and in an educational environment that incorporates the best of our traditions.”
Annabel Maclennan, School Captain, said: “It is a real privilege to be amongst the last pupils to be educated at the old Nicolson Institute and the first pupils to move to the impressive new building. We, as a sixth year, will do our very best to ensure that fellow pupils look after it and make the most of it.”
Alasdair Macleod, School Captain, said: “It is really exciting to be in this new school and to be part of the first sixth year in the new Nicolson Institute. I’m sure that these new facilities will make it a lot easier to go about the every day life of the school, and I’ll be doing everything I can to make it the best possible start to this new chapter in the school’s history.”
Hebrides Today brings you the latest news from the Western Isles