Highlands & Islands

School's out forever: Last visit to Inverness Royal Academy

Inverness Royal Academy Image copyright Paul Campbell
Image caption Gordon Harvey, an art teacher at the IRA, met former pupils who took the chance to have a final look inside their old school

Friday marks the official start of the school summer holidays in the Highlands.

For pupils of Inverness Royal Academy (IRA) it also means saying a farewell, fond or otherwise, to their school buildings.

They are set to be demolished as final work is done to prepare the new academy, constructed nearby, to be opened to pupils and staff in August.

Ahead of closing, the old IRA has been open for a final public viewing.

Photographer and former pupil Paul Campbell was among those to take the chance of a tour.

Image copyright Paul Campbell
Image copyright Paul Campbell

Mr Campbell, and his fellow former pupils, also bumped into some of their teachers including art teacher Gordon Harvey.

"Gordon Harvey, a well known art teacher, taught me how to develop film and print photographs," said Mr Campbell.

"'It must be pin-sharp' he would say."

Image copyright Paul Campbell
Image copyright Paul Campbell
Image copyright Paul Campbell
Image copyright Paul Campbell

Inverness Royal Academy was founded in 1792 and previously occupied other sites in the city - Academy Street and then Midmills Road.

It moved to its present site in the Culduthel area of Inverness in the 1970s.

The new IRA has been built at a cost of about £34m.

It has capacity for 1,420 pupils making it the biggest school in the Highlands.

The new school has been constructed close to the site of the existing academy, which had a roll of about 940 pupils.

Image copyright Paul Campbell
Image copyright Paul Campbell
Image copyright Paul Campbell