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Hebrides News


Stornoway South SNP candidate Rae Mackenzie is calling for the comhairle to reopen Sandwickhill School with many young families moving into the area.


The primary school was axed in a cost-cutting move in 2011.  It can hold 146 pupils but only 42 children were being taught in the end. The roll declined by 55% over the previous seven years.


However, the facility has been given a new use as an educational resource, housing a learning centre and offices for the comhairle’s pre-school service.


Rae Mackenzie points out 100 new houses are being constructed in the near vicinity.


He will ask for a feasibility study to over reopening the school if re-elected to Comhairle nan Eilean on 4th May.

Mr Mackenzie said: "Sandwick School should never have closed because it was obvious that Stornoway was going to expand in that direction.


Call to re-open Sandwickhill School for pupils

12 April 2017

“Well over 100 houses, many with young families, are on schedule to be built in the Mackenzie Park area near the former school.”


This means there will be over 300 houses in Parkend, Holm and the Mackenzie Park Estate without taking into account East Street, North Street, and Lower Sandwick.


“Potentially pupils may also come from Steinish, Plasterfield and Melbost/Branahuie,” he added.


Mr Mackenzie pointed out that many promises had been made to parents and the community at a meeting in 2010 which had not yet been fulfilled.

He said: “It was said that the facilities at the receiving school (Stornoway Primary) would be better than Sandwickhill and if they were not, the pupils would not then be transferred.

“Stornoway Primary is overcrowded and lacking adequate gym and changing facilities, proper storages, and a decent pitch. It has now over 100 nursery pupils added to what is already the second biggest school in the Western Isles.


"It was stated that that if the numbers were there, then Sandwick would remain open. Potentially the numbers are now there.”