Listed status could see Madras College’s Kilrymont campus lie vacant for a long time after pupils move out, a councillor has warned.
The Kilrymont Road building was listed 12 years ago, prompting concerns then its future development could be stymied.
It is understood Fife Council will put the school up for sale shortly, as the new secondary school is built at Langlands.
St Andrews Labour councillor Brian Thomson said affordable housing would be the best use of the Kilrymont site but would require the 1960s structure to be knocked down.
He fears Historic Environmental Scotland could insist on extensive marketing of the property before its demolition was permitted.
He said: “In order for listed building consent to be secured to demolish the buildings, the site would have to be marketed to potential purchasers for at least six months but Historic Environment Scotland could insist that a longer period may be appropriate and there’s no defined maximum period.
“After the new school is completed, hopefully by the summer of 2021, there is every likelihood that the buildings could be lying empty for a significant period of time, which would entail the council having to apply appropriate measures to secure the buildings from potential vandalism.
“Whilst there doesn’t appear to be any way of avoiding a marketing exercise, I do hope that, if it became clear that no viable proposals were coming forward, Historic Environment Scotland would take a pragmatic approach and consider what’s best for the local community, namely the delivery of much needed new build affordable housing.”
The Kilrymont campus is listed by Historic Environment Scotland on account of its “striking design” and complex pagoda-style roof.
It was built at a time when modernist architecture was developing in the town and is likely to be have been one of the last designs of Robert Sorley Lawrie as Fife county architect.
Madras College’s South Street building will be taken over St Andrews University.
Historic Environment Scotland recently published new guidance on the use and adaptation of listed buildings.
A spokesman said: “We have published guidance on the re-use of listed buildings as part of our managing change series. This includes guidance on marketing.
“We would be very happy to be involved in development of a brief in this case, and we will be in touch with Fife Council to see how we can help.”