Councillors have rejected a last-ditch attempt to build a new replacement Roman Catholic school in Aberdeen.
St Peter’s RC School is currently over capacity, with proposals in place to vacate pupils and relocate them at the existing Riverbank School in Tillydrone, while relocating Riverbank pupils to a new-build.
Members of Aberdeen City Council’s education operational delivery committee were asked to give the go-ahead to relocate St Peter’s pupils to the existing Riverbank School when they met yesterday.
However, Liberal Democrat councillor Martin Greig tabled an amendment which called for the committee to recommend that the existing Riverbank School should instead be flattened and a brand new school built, to accommodate St Peter’s pupils.
Mr Greig said: “I think it is our duty to do our best to provide the best environment to pupils.
“It’s important to listen to what the school community has to say and do what we can to meet those aspirations.
“Clearly the families and pupils want to move into a new facility which is of an appropriate good standard and that was made clear.”
However, Mr Greig’s amendment was defeated by 16 votes to one, with John Murray – the Roman Catholic religious representative on the committee – voting in favour of relocating pupils into the existing Riverbank School, on the condition it received the necessary upgrades.
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Speaking against Mr Greig’s amendment, councillor John Wheeler, convener of the committee, said the matter had been “around the houses long enough”, adding that the amendment gave the community “false hope” of a new school.
He was seconded by Councillor Marie Boulton, who said the Liberal Democrat group hadn’t contained any provision for a new school within their budget proposals in March.
She added: “We have many schools that require our attention and we have to do it in a structured manner.”
Instead, councillors agreed to proceed with relocating St Peter’s pupils to the existing Riverbank building after the new replacement Riverbank School has opened, which is expected to happen by August 2022.
This is subject to the condition of the Riverbank building first being improved from its current Category B status to Category A.
The new school for pupils studying at Riverbank is planned for the site of the former St Machar Primary School on Harris Drive.