The bulk of the bill to build the new Carrongrange School could be met by the Scottish Government.
Falkirk Council has been told that because the majority of the pupils are secondary school age the Scottish Futures Trust could pay over two thirds of the estimated £10 million costs of construction.
The cash will be available from 2015.
Schools property manager Alan Livingstone told the council’s education committee: “Our bid for funding to replace Carrongrange School with a new state-of-the-art facility designed to meet the curricular needs of pupils as defined by the Curriculum for Excellence was approved by the Scottish Government in September.
“The estimated cost is £10 million but at this time it is not possible to be definitive on what the final cost to the council will be until a detailed feasibility study has been completed.
He went on: “Previous funding for special schools has been assessed on a 50 per cent basis, however, preliminary talks with the Government have indicated our bid could be eligible for 67 per cent. Any such funding would be based on the Scottish Future Trust’s notional building costs and not on the actual costs.”
Mr Livingstone promised: “This school for pupils of secondary school age with special needs will be unique to Scotland. The aim is to build a school that’s better than the one it’s replacing. The bar will be set as high as it can be.”
Two teams will be set up to take the project forward. One will carry out a detailed options appraisal on the planning and design of the new school and the other identify and assess possible locations. At the same time work will start on deciding how the current Carrongrange School can be put to best use to tackle overcrowding at the nearby Larbert High School.
The committee also agreed staff, pupils and their parents will have a part to play in the final interior design and layout of the school.
Head teacher Gillian Robertson said: “We are very excited about the new school and being involved in its final design. It is absolutely right staff, our pupils and parents can make a contribution. We will be visiting recently completed special needs schools to see what elements would be good for us to incorporate.”
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