HISTORIC Scotland Street School Set To Become Place Of Learning Again

21 January, 2021 | Listed / Historic Buildings

A £2.8MILLION plan to safeguard Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Scotland Street School masterpiece includes locating a pre-five facility in the much-loved building.

Glasgow City Council officials are asking councillors to approve the proposal to meet the need for more early learning and childcare places in the Pollokshields area.

Changes to its current museum and exhibition role will also take place.

A report prepared for councillors states: “Re-introducing an education provision in the form of early years’ accommodation will signal a return of the building to a new form of its original use.

“Re-thinking the use of the building offers new ways of interpreting the architecture and history of the building, while retaining its important role in the city in terms of cultural tourism and its unique Charles Rennie Mackintosh focus.

“It will also allow the important function of delivering schools workshops by Glasgow Museums’ staff to the children of the city to be maintained.”

The ground floor would become an early learning and childcare facility for up to 60 three to five-year-olds. The former boy’s playground would be an outdoor area for the nursery.

A travel plan would be drawn up for the nursery, including looking at parents and carers being able to use the car park across the road and the provision of safe crossing arrangements.

Some exhibits and objects will be relocated, either elsewhere in the building or to alternative Glasgow Museums venues.

Space on the first floor will become flexible office spaces and meeting rooms.

On the second floor, the main original teaching spaces, complete with tiered seating, and the pupil cloak areas will be repaired and refurbished as necessary.

Internal and external repairs and work to improve fire protection is also required.

A-listed Scotland Street School was built in 1906 and closed as a school in 1979 and then reopened in 1990 as the Scotland Street Museum of Education. A new display gallery on the architecture of Charles Rennie Mackintosh was later installed.

Continued access by members of the public will be maintained to the front playground throughout the week, and the rear girls’ playground at weekends for a self-led visitor experience.

The report concludes: “The proposed development allows the building to be reinstated for its original purpose of delivering education, whilst retaining the much-valued museum experience.

“In addition, the development of the outdoor experience allows the public to continue to enjoy the beautiful exterior while the proposed weekend access would allow planned visits for the public to enjoy the splendour of the interior.

“It would provide a unique atmosphere for young people to thrive in while continuing to allow visitors access to this architectural masterpiece through enhanced interpretation.”

A massive mixed-use development involving the neighbouring former Howden’s engineering works and land behind the school site was given planning permission in August 2018.

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