Staff and pupils returned to their own school yesterday, more than three months after a blaze gutted the building.
The major fire that ripped through Braeview Academy in September left children without a school and Dundee City Council facing a huge operation to decant 570 students to alternative sites and clear up the campus
But exactly 14 weeks on from the fire, teachers yesterday welcomed pupils back to the Whitfield building, where temporary classrooms have been put in place around the grounds.
Parts of the old school have also been made available.
Stewart Hunter, the local authority’s children and families services convener, said: “An amazing amount of work has been put in to ensure that pupils can return ‘home’ to Braeview.
“I would like to thank everyone who has made this possible.
“The head teacher and school staff deserve great credit for managing what has been a very difficult situation.
“I would also like to thank parents and families for their patience.”
Paul Clancy, executive director of the city council’s children and families service, added: “The accommodation we are returning to is of a very high standard.
“We will also have access to more of the existing school facilities than previously thought.”
The building’s north-west corner was damaged by the fire, which led to a massive late-night emergency response.
Braeview’s 570 pupils were split between two other schools.
S1 and S2 pupils were shuttled to Baldragon Academy while S3-6 pupils attended Craigie High.
Braeview head teacher Lesley Elder said she was “thrilled” by yesterday’s reopening and thanked both schools for their support.
“In our hour of need when we had nothing, they provided us not only with accommodation and teaching materials, but camaraderie and a sense of purpose and buoyancy that kept us going,” she said.
“I cannot express my gratitude enough to everyone for providing us with this amazing facility so quickly.
“Just over three months ago we were in a situation where we didn’t have a school and now we have one.
“I think some of the staff still hankered after their old classrooms but now they’ve seen what they’re coming into and how happy the pupils are, that distant memory of the old building will diminish.
“We have new IT facilities and our home economics facility is also brand new, when we used to have cookers that were 30 years old.
Braeview pupil Brandon Wilkinson, 17, said: “It feels absolutely great to be back.
“All the S6 pupils have been at Craigie High for about 12 weeks and I think that’s been a really challenging and bonding experience for them.
“Because of that, now that they’re back, all the pupils are working really hard and really close together, with much better facilities than we ever had in the old building.
“So although the fire was tragic and upsetting, I think all in all we have come out with a positive.”
A council spokesman said: “The impact that the recent fire at Braeview Academy will have on future plans for the building is being actively considered and this will be covered under a specific report to be brought to committee in the very near future.”