Councillors have been urged to give the green light to the next stage of a project to relocate a north-east secondary school.
A consultation on plans to replace the current Peterhead Academy building with a new multi-million-pound school at Kinmundy was held last year after the premises was prioritised for replacement by Aberdeenshire Council in 2018.
Under the plans, learning at the current building on Prince Street in the town would end in 2025, with pupils and staff moving into the new school.
The building would be part of the new Peterhead Community Campus, which would also accommodate Peterhead Central primary.
There is also a separate opportunity to relocate the Anna Ritchie School to the campus.
Now the Buchan Area Committee has been asked to make a recommendation to the Education and Children’s Services Committee that the proposals are adopted.
A report to the committee reads: “Education Scotland acknowledge that the proposal to replace and relocate Peterhead Academy has the potential to provide clear educational benefits, given the current standard of the building.
“They recognise that a new building would provide improved learning, social and outdoor space, would better support staff in delivering modern learning and teaching and should better meet modern teaching and learning requirements.
“The proposal should improve accessibility for learners with disabilities, improve digital technology and create a more pleasant learning environment.”
A study into the impact of the relocation of the school on Peterhead’s town centre suggested spending by pupils and parents in local businesses could be hit by around £400,000 annually – although much of this would be centred on the branch of Morrison’s nearby.
It also found a similar amount could be lost through spending by staff, although that would be spread across a wider area.
And the study discovered pupils living in deprived areas would be more likely to need to travel further to the new building.
The council could consider the promotion of a cycle scheme to help youngsters from those areas get to and from school.
The study said: “Pupils living in deprived areas are marginally more likely to need to travel further to Kinmundy compared to Peterhead Academy’s current site.
“While this impact is unlikely to be significant it is also the case that some communities will be less well equipped to adapt to the new routes to school.
“Some consultees suggested the promotion of active travel and cost-effective schemes to promote cycling, particularly among pupils from Peterhead Central and Buchanhaven Primary schools.
“These initiatives would be worth pursuing early so that some momentum around active travel will already have been building before the relocation.”
Councillors will vote on the recommendations at Tuesday’s meeting of the Buchan Area Committee.