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Anderson High School

The largest school in Shetland, Anderson High School occupies a rambling group of buildings in a prominent location on a headland a quarter-mile (0.5 km) southeast of the centre of Lerwick. The school was endowed by ship-owner Arthur Anderson (1792 - 1868) and has a roll of 907 pupils (2015). B-listed since 1977, the original building was built 1860-62 in the Scots Tudor-Revival style, with Gothic overtones, by the Aberdeen-based architect William Smith (1817-90), who is better known for designing Balmoral Castle. The school was known as the Anderson Educational Institute. As pupil numbers increased, extensions were built in 1924, 1964 and in the 1970s, with temporary classrooms now occupying part of the site. The school was renamed Anderson High School in 1970.

Two hostels were constructed to accommodate pupils living in outlying areas; the Bruce Hostel and the Janet Courtney Hostel. The former, which takes the form of a large Classical mansion, was endowed by Robert H. Bruce of Sumburgh and completed in 1919. The latter was built in the Art Deco style in 1939 by James Shearer (1881 - 1962). The Bruce Hostel closed as better transport links ensured more pupils could travel and, in 2001, the ground floor became the base for Shetland Islands Council's Family Services team, while the Hospitality Department of Shetland College UHI use the kitchens.

Anderson High School is one of the larger public-sector users connected to the Lerwick District Heating Scheme. A new school is planned and this has brought considerable debate and some controversy over the potential site.


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