Permission to demolish the existing Harris Academy has been granted, paving the way for the secondary school’s new £31 million project.
Historic Scotland approved the demolition of the Category B listed building in a letter to Dundee City Council, a decision that was hailed as “a significant development” by the city’s education convener.
However, features of the existing building, which has housed the school since 1931, will be retained and reused. These include the clock tower and stone entrance portico.
Plans for the new school were formally lodged with the council in February.
Historic Scotland’s decision means the existing 1930s building in Perth Road will be torn down once the school is decanted in the summer, with staff and pupils spending three years at the former Rockwell High School site.
The demolition approval is subject to a number of conditions.
One states: “Before any works commence on site, a report, method statement and detailed drawings and photographs where necessary shall be submitted to the planning authority showing the taking down and re-erection/reuse of the clock tower and stone entrance portico.”
The council must also inform the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland at the earliest opportunity to allow the recording of the building prior to demolition.
Dundee City Council education convener Councillor Stewart Hunter said: “The council has been notified by Historic Scotland that they have approved the listed building application for demolition of the current Harris Academy building.
“I welcome this news as it is a significant development. A planning application still has to be considered for a new school.“
The old Harris Academy will make way for a four-storey, 15,000 sq m building replacement with room for 1,200 pupils.
There will be courtyard social spaces for the pupils and a plaza at the Perth Road entrance. The school, which is expected to have around 170 staff, will have 80 parking spaces created.
A third of the project funding will come from Dundee City Council and the rest from the Scottish Government-backed Scottish Futures Trust.
Last month, around 150 tradespeople, subcontractors and suppliers attended a meeting in the Queens Hotel to find out about the new project and consider bidding for parts of the work.
The architects of the new Harris Academy said they would deliver an “outstanding educational building” for its staff and pupils.
In the planning application, Holmes Miller say: “The proposed building utilises a limited palette of high quality, durable and robust materials and is designed to present a sophisticated, refined and appropriate form within this reputable area of Dundee.”
When the internal design was being worked on, the principal teacher of each subject had the chance to talk about the needs of their department and how the classroom space should be arranged.
The school should be fully operational for the start of the 2016 session.