A MAJOR milestone for the £220 million Dunfermline Learning Campus has taken place.

A ‘topping out’ ceremony was held on Friday where schoolchildren helped education secretary Jenny Gilruth MSP and councillors lay a cement plinth to mark the school building reaching its highest point.

The 58-acre site at Halbeath will be the new home for St Columba’s and Woodmill high schools as well as a base for Fife College.

READ MORE: A look into the new Dunfermline Learning Campus

It will open in two phases with the schools opening to pupils in August 2024 and the college opening in 2025.

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At the ceremony Ms Gilruth said: “Dunfermline Learning Campus will provide modern, fit for purpose and collaborative facilities for students and staff through the support of the Scottish Government’s £2 billion Learning Estate Investment Programme.

“I have no doubt that the whole community will benefit from this facility and I am excited to return to see the campus again once the building work is complete.”

BAM Construction began preparing the site in September 2021 and moved on to constructing the school buildings last summer. Balfour Beatty started work on the new Fife College in January.

READ MORE: Construction work begins on new St Columba's and Woodmill

Fife Council’s education spokesperson, Cllr Cara Hilton, who has two children at Woodmill, said: “I’m delighted we’re here today celebrating this point in the build. It’s just over a year away until the schools open to pupils; that’s a great achievement for everyone involved.The £122m school build is a huge investment from Fife Council in the future of Fife’s young people.

“With help from our partners, we’re building schools across Fife which are ground-breaking in their design and function. I’m excited for the future of learning in Dunfermline; the pupils and students will benefit from fabulous new facilities that are fit for the 21st century.”

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The new Fife College will cost £100m and principal Jim Metcalfe added: “With state-of-the-art facilities for pupils and students, the campus will provide a streamlined pathway from school through to further and higher education, as well as meeting the learning and training needs of local businesses and the community.

“It is hugely exciting to see construction on the site progressing at pace and we look forward to completing our shared vision for a truly unique campus for lifelong learning here in West Fife.”

Fife Council is working in partnership with the college, the Scottish Government and Scottish Futures Trust to create the campus on the Shepherd Offshore site.

The schools are being built to Passivhaus standards for energy efficiency and low carbon emissions and the project is procured and managed by hub East Central Scotland.

Hub CEO Gary Bushnell reported “excellent progress” and said: “We continue to work with everyone in the team to manage its successful completion. We look forward to welcoming the first young people to the schools next year.”