THE new Inverkeithing High should NOT be built next to the existing school and one of the remaining two options is to locate it in Rosyth.

Fife Council say that using the current site would incur problems with cost, moving all the pupils, asbestos and listed building consent, while the Woodmill fire would also hamper those proposals.

Instead, councillors at the education and children's services committee will meet on Tuesday to consider a site north of the A921 near Hillend or the Fleet Grounds in Rosyth for a new school that could accommodate 2,000 pupils and cost around £70 million.

Carrie Lindsay, executive director of education, said: "Demolition of the existing school prior to construction of a new school would enable optimum use of the site to achieve all educational requirements but would result in a whole school decant for at least two years.

"Such a large decant would incur substantial additional costs, in the region of £12 million for a full decant village, and this would impact on the available budget to deliver a new state-of-the-art secondary school."

Any redevelopment or demolition of the existing buildings would require a "major programme of asbestos removal", while there is also asbestos contamination in the grounds and a lack of space for a decanted school and construction works.

Ms Lindsay added there may be "limitations on the ability to resource such a decant" as a significant number of temporary modular units are required for Woodmill.

While the current site is the only one the council would not need to buy, the estimated costs of a new school there are £81m-£85m, sports and social areas would be lost for a "minimum" of three years and Historic Environment Scotland said only "limited demolition" would be acceptable given the school building is category B-listed.

The preferred options aren't perfect either, one of the A921 sites (west) is "located in a high-risk flood area" and both would require a new access road with a "substantial ramp" due to the slope of the land.

As they are the "wrong side" of a 60mph road, a pedestrian footbridge costing up to £2m may be required. Overhead high-voltage electricity cables would also need to be diverted.

Classed as prime agricultural land, the west site has "extensive strands of Giant Hogweed" almost impossible to fully eradicate and the east site is "infected with Japanese Knotweed", which could take up to four years to get rid of and is "likely to prolong delivery of a new school".

The Fleet Grounds is far removed from the current site and catchment areas but has reasonable access, the site would allow for "full flexibility" and part of the site is owned by the council.

Part of the site earmarked for the school, owned by the Ministry of Defence, may be unavailable until 2024 due to a defence review. Gas mains and underground high-voltage cables may need to be diverted.

Estimated costs for the A921 sites, excluding site acquisition, are £69m-£71m.

It's £63m for the Fleet Grounds, however, the council would also have to spend significant sums to deliver the existing community-use facilities for Inverkeithing, Dalgety Bay and Aberdour communities.

The plans rely on "significant contributions from the Scottish Government" but while there will be state-of-the-art community-use facilities, it's unlikely to have a swimming pool and keeping the existing community-use wing could cost £5m-£6m.