TOP-CLASS sporting facilities should be part of the new £180 million learning campus at Halbeath.

And the existing pitches and facilities at the old Woodmill and St Columba's sites could be improved and turned into a standalone community sports hub.

That's the opportunity afforded to Fife Council after they appointed a team to prepare designs for what the campus and new schools could look like, while councillors were also told that demolition work is under way at the fire-hit school and S3, S4 and S5 pupils will return to Woodmill in January in two-storey modular accommodation.

As for using the vacant land on either side of Woodmill Road, once the schools have moved to the shared campus with Fife College, Councillor Fay Sinclair said: "We'll have to follow the normal council procedure to see if the sites are needed by education or another council service. If not, they'll be marketed for external use.

"There are opportunities with the site at Woodmill, with the pitches you have the potential for a standalone sports hub to be established there.

"There are a lot of different options that need to be explored."

There's already a Woodmill & St Columba's Community Sports Hub, after a number of clubs came together in 2016, and the idea is this could be developed further through a community asset transfer, allowing the community to run it themselves.

It has brought together Dunfermline Reign Basketball Club, Dunfermline Carnegie Hockey Club, Carnegie Judo Club, Dunfermline Boxing Club, Abbeyview Bowling Club, Fife Council Sports Development & Active Schools, the community use schools and the PE departments of both schools.

They want to be involved in the "unique opportunity to design purpose-built facilities" at Halbeath, and James Steel, chair of Dunfermline Reign, said they had submitted a document on behalf of the hub "regarding our view of what a new campus could and should deliver for our local community and most importantly how we can help achieve those aims".

He added: "I would hope that Fife Council will take full advantage of the extensive, practical knowledge and experience of people like those in our sports hub to enable the delivery of a project that will achieve very significant benefits to the wellbeing and development of our local community."

Cllr Sinclair, convener of the committee, said it wasn't just about what could be built on the new campus but what will be left behind.

There are already plans for a brand new community hub in Abbeyview and developing the old school sites into a sporting hub could go a step further in appeasing the locals.

She confirmed: "There are concerns about the schools moving out of the area.

"I've certainly been getting challenged by the community council, groups and individuals about this to make sure Abbeyview is not forgotten and we're not losing all the facilities from the area.

"I've had that message loud and clear but it possibly helps that as well as being education convener, I am the ward councillor."

Parts of the fire-hit Woodmill buildings are being knocked down this week and she said: "You'll start to see come activity on the site this week on the badly-damaged east wing of the building.

"It looked like everything had gone quiet but work was ongoing inside to remove asbestos before demolition could get under way.

"We'll start to see big changes now."

Cllr Sinclair said S3, S4 and S5 pupils will start back at Woodmill in January and added: "We looked very carefully and decided to bring back the pupils who are being taught outside Dunfermline.

"S1 are at the Vine Centre and S2 are at Queen Anne, S6 are at St Columba's, so all the pupils will be taught in Dunfermline from January.

"That's with the exception of the DAS pupils, they will see out the school year at their current provision in Blairhall as it will be less disruption to keep them where they are."