The Royal Exchange building in Dundee is being used to accommodate school pupils as Dundee High School looks to “maximise” social distancing.
An application was submitted to the local authority last month which outlined plans for the school to use the building space to accommodate junior school staff and pupils now that the new academic year has begun.
The school is to use the building for additional classrooms on a 12 month lease, with the option to extend it for a further 12 months if required.
“Additional space is required”
A supporting statement submitted with the application detailed how the space in the Royal Exchange Building, which is on Panmure Street in the city centre, would be utilised to ensure social distancing can be maintained when pupils return.
It read: “Based on current guidance the school is working on a return to school plan which will enable pupils and staff to return to a safe learning environment.
“In order to provide such an environment, additional space is required.
“The Royal Exchange Buildings offer a modern, bright and suitable space in which the Junior School staff and pupils, from years L3-L5 inclusive, can be accommodated.”
Also included in the application is a plan to use the building space for music lessons, which the school describes as an “important part” of the co-curriculum offering.
The supporting statement added: “The additional space offered at Royal Exchange Buildings will allow the school to provide for these educational groups safely and in compliance with Scottish Government guidance.”
Under the proposals, the first, second and fourth floor of the building will all be used by the high school. It is understood that these areas have just been refurbished.
High School of Dundee rector, Lise Hudson, said, “Following the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, we reviewed our current school estate to ensure that we were able to fulfil our plans for returning to school safely.
“The Royal Exchange Building has given us a modern, bright and suitable space in which we could safely re-house our L4 and L5 classes, enabling us to meet current Scottish Government guidance and to maximise our physical distancing for staff and pupils across the entire school estate.
“Based on current guidance the school is working on a return to school plan which will enable pupils and staff to return to a safe learning environment.”
Planning application supporting statement.
“The building is adjacent to our campus and using it enables our pupils to have their intervals in the school playground without the need for any roads to be crossed.
“The lease also allows us to accommodate music lessons which are a very important part of our co-curriculum offering.
“In the first few days of term it has been fantastic to see our pupils settling in to the building so well and we hope that this arrangement will allow us to continue to provide the best learning experience for our young people both in the current situation and beyond.”
Royal Exchange is a category B listed office building and was built in the mid 1950’s,