CARNOUSTIE'S Burnside Primary School was officially opened today (Wednesday).

This completed the the first phase of Angus Council's 50 million school building programme in Carnoustie and Forfar.

The construction of Burnside is part of the programme to provide a total of six new primary schools and one secondary school across the two burghs.

Phase two of the project is also well under way, with Carlogie Primary expected to reopen towards the end of this year, occupation of the Carnoustie High new building to be completed in early 2009, and the new Langlands Primary in Forfar to open to pupils by spring/summer 2009.

Education convener Peter Nield said: "The official opening of Burnside is the latest sign that this huge project is successfully nearing its completion. By summer next year, pupils in Forfar and Carnoustie will be educated in schools fit for the 21st century of which the whole community can be proud."

Sitting in attractive, landscaped grounds, Burnside Primary School is a two-stream primary school, designed to provide accommodation for 444 primary pupils with up to 80 pre-school places.

As well as providing the most up to date educational facilities possible for pupils and teachers, Burnside is also being used outside hours to the benefit of the whole community.

Head teacher Marlyn Preston said: "Pupils and staff settled quickly into our brand new building. The modern facilities are just fantastic and help to enhance the pupils' learning experiences. Hopefully this wonderful school will develop into a well-used community resource so that as many people as possible can benefit from the facilities."

The opening ceremony was performed by local councillor and Depute Provost Peter Murphy, and featured music and songs from the pupils.

Guests toured the school before the celebrations were rounded off with the presentation of a time capsule in the garden.

The school building programme is being delivered by three Robertson businesses - Robertson Capital Projects as overall project manager and investor, Robertson Eastern which delivered the design and build contract and Robertson Facilities Management which will provide a range of hard and soft facilities management services throughout the 30-year project duration.