Dundee’s historic schools set to last

© Kris Miller
Blackness Primary School.

Dundee’s Victorian and Edwardian schools will serve further generations of pupils after the announcement of secured funding to maintain their upkeep.

The council will embark on more than £925,000 worth of enhancement works from 2018 to 2020 which will refresh playgrounds, dining halls, stairwells and toilets across the seven historic sites in their school estate.

Officers have compiled a report on the city’s school buildings, which is due to be heard by councillors on Monday.

Executive director of the children and families service, Paul Clancy said: “These old schools, like Blackness Primary and St Mary’s, are solid constructions, which went up more than a century ago and were built to last.

“The Blackness building in particular is very popular with parents, pupils and teachers, which is why we will be spending money to enhance the playground from April 2018.

“Also, in terms of space, there is not enough of it in the city centre to build a new school, so upgrades will be made to keep it up to date.

“The council has met with head teachers from all of the Victorian and Edwardian schools in the city to ask what differences can be made.”

Blackness Primary School will receive £50,000 for playground enhancements in 2018, along with Dens Road Primary School, which will receive £75,000.

St Mary’s Primary School will be handed £17,500 for a playground store or dining tables and St Peter and Paul’s will be given the same amount for a playground store.

Glebelands Primary School will receive £40,000 for a medical room and gym storage, bringing the total spending for 2018-19 to £200,000.

The money has already been allocated in the council’s capital plan, therefore will not be affected by any future budget cuts, according to Mr Clancy.

Blackness head teacher, Mr Gordon Ferrier, said: “Blackness primary is a substantial hold building with a rich history and culture in the West End area.

“The building really does bring the community together, it acts like a hub for the whole area.

“The work carried out by the parent teacher council Friends of Blackness is a terrific example of community partnership. They have been instrumental in pushing for this new playground equipment.

“There will be new climbing frames, a refurbished garden and we will be looking to open the play area during non-term time for the community to use.”

Councillor Gregor Murray said: “These old buildings, which were built at the end of the 19th century, were made to last.

“We know that a lot of schools built in the city in the 1960s have already had to be brought down, so it is important the investment in our Victorian and Edwardian schools is made.”

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