FIFE COUNCIL is being urged to “get off the fence” and commit to replacing the “deteriorating” Inverkeithing High School.

MP Lesley Laird has made the call in advance of the council budget next Thursday and following water problems last week which forced the school to close for three days.

Ms Laird said: “The school has deteriorated past the point of acceptability and there is now a critical need to get this rebuild under way. The money is there to replace it.

“I met Fife Council officials in November who were still holding out for promised Scottish Government money but we’ve heard this for years.

“That’s why on Thursday, Fife Council needs to get off the fence, seize the initiative and approve the funds to get this work under way and deliver a new Inverkeithing High School.”

The Press previously reported that Fife Council set aside £50 million in 2016 towards the estimated £150m cost of replacing five high schools – Inverkeithing, Woodmill and St Columba’s as well as two in Glenrothes – but it needs the Scottish Government to provide the remaining funding and set out the criteria on which money will be allocated.

Neil Finnie, senior compliance officer, said: “Longer-term, we are working to develop proposals for secondary schools across the Dunfermline and South West Fife area. Inverkeithing, Woodmill and St Columba’s RC high schools would be priorities for investment within our capital programme. As would be expected, we are considering all options, working to ensure that we can achieve as much as possible within the capital resources that might be available.”

The council had to act quickly on Tuesday last week after a problem with the meter supplying Inverkeithing HS, forcing the school to shut.

Efforts to fix it failed to ensure the supply was reconnected in time for pupils to return on Wednesday.

It re-opened on Thursday but had to close again on Friday for what they described as a “bigger repair”.

The council said a temporary solution has been installed by Scottish Water but a permanent solution is being sought and will be carried out during school holidays.

Mr Finnie added: “The school experienced issues with very low water pressure from the public water main last week, which meant that we had to close the building.

“A temporary fix was carried out to allow us to reopen on Thursday but unfortunately it was not enough for us to keep the school open on Friday. Further work has been done which has improved the situation.

“While we anticipate the work carried out will be sufficient for the foreseeable future, we want to ensure a permanent solution is put in place. This work will be carried out as soon as we can, outwith term time, to minimise any further disruption to the school.”