COMRIE residents have welcomed news building will start on the new community classroom before the end of the year.

At the stage of tendering for a contracter, the primary school plan to keep the community informed about when the building works will start. And residents are keen to see the outcome of 'The Hub' which will be used by both the pupils and community.

After months of hard work from school fundraising and applying for grants - with �10, 000 from Awards for All and �4500 from the Perth and Kinross Quality of Life Trust - building is planned to begin before the end of the year and landscaping will be done in the spring.

The classroom with a difference - an environmentally-friendly outdoor resource centre - will be built in the school playground with walls made from straw bales and timber and will have built-in features like observation windows linked to a ladybird house; bird baths and feeders; bird and bat boxes and an ant city.

Tiered seating is also part of the plans as it is hoped lectures, performances and concerts will take place in the circular structure.

Behind the scenes staff and pupils have raised money by selling a range of vegetables from their plot at Cultybraggan, by designing and publishing cookbooks and by taking part in a range of other activities from 'Rag Bag' recycling to involvement in the village's Zero Waste Fortnight.

Local artists have been discussing a whole-school art plan to design the floor of the building and The Hub committee of kids have decided on wall panels for each season, with their drawings decorating the insides and them helping with the building of the hay bales on the outside.

In preparation, they have also visited Bumblebee Square to learn about bees and are now looking to learn more about seeds and plants for turf roofs and for butterfly and bee gardens.

The school has also ordered trees to be planted round The Hub.

With plans and preparations made the school can't wait to get started and have had promises of help from Gleneagles Hotel, Comrie in Colour and some parents.

A spokeswoman for the school told the Strathallan Times: "We are all looking forward to the building work getting underway as it will benefit not only our pupils but the rest of the community who will be able to use it.

"The outdoor classroom would ensure a number of possibilities for learning and teaching in relation to the environment and will enable the study of many cross-curricular topics as well as being a valuable community space for meetings and small theatre productions." Sarah Anderson, 41, from Comrie said: "This is exactly what Comrie needs to help local community groups out when they need space to meet, rehearse or preform. I know I'm speaking for a lot of people when I say it will be greatly welcomed in the community and I can't wait to see the finished result."