A £16 million bid to turn a landmark Dundee building into a performing arts hub has been shelved.
The High School of Dundee has been fundraising for five years to transform the former Head Post Office building into a world-class venue but has now revealed the target has not been met.
Instead, bosses at the Euclid Street school say they will refocus their efforts to future-proof its whole campus, including the Meadowside building, purchased in 2013.
A letter sent to parents by school chairman Iain Bett said: “The school purchased the former Post Office Building on Ward Road and an ambitious vison for a Centre for Performing and Visual Arts, for the benefit of the school and the wider local community was envisioned.
“In order to develop the very best facility to inspire creativity, our fundraising target was a very ambitious one.
“I am sorry to have to inform you that we have fallen short of the target.
“Instead, as we look to the post-Covid world and beyond, we will be reconsidering the creative possibilities that all our spaces can offer.”
Mr Bett said the school was currently c arrying out a survey of the entire campus.
“This will include the former post office building and we are due to complete this process early in 2021,” he said.
“We will of course continue to keep the entire community informed of our plans.”
Many donors who contributed to fundraising for the hub have asked that their donations be transferred to the school’s bursary fund, the letter added.
The hub had been set to include an auditorium, music, dance, drama and visual arts spaces and facilities, home economics facilities, a new dining hall and other social areas.
Rector Lise Hudson said the arts will form a central part of the new plans, to be finalised early next year.
She said: “We’re very grateful to everyone who supported us but it is most important of all that we are flexible and the campus is going to continue to meet the needs of our pupils.
“Now is a good time to re-visit plans for that space because it is an amazing building and we are committed to including it in our wider campus.
“Covid-19 has necessitated a pause and reflection. I am very much committed of the basic premise of the performance and arts centre, which was the power of creativity and what that can do for wellbeing.”
Ms Hudson, who became rector in January, said opening space to the community remains part of the school’s wider plan, and she hopes to play a part in the city’s redevelopment.
“I’m really keen to explore how the High School remains important to the city and gives back to the city,” she said.
“The plan was very much that it would be a community use building and I’d like to see us look at that more widely, rather than just about this one building.
“Developments in Dundee have already put the city on the map and my personal aspiration during my time as rector is to be part of that.”