Work resumes to convert former Shakespeare Street school building

WORK on the third and final stage of a new residential development close to Glasgow’s west end has resumed, which is set to preserve a historic school building.

The second phase of the North Kelvin Apartments scheme, in a tenement-style appropriate to the area, has already been completed. The conversion of the former Shakespeare Street public school resulted in all 24 apartments having been sold.

The project, by Spectrum Properties, has saved the red sandstone school building, which dates from 1915, and has also created a new landscaped space within the Edwardian property’s playground to provide resident gardens.

With 29 flats in the school building and 56 homes in the grounds, the development has been tipped to help ease housing shortages in the area.

Bill Roddie, director of Spectrum Properties said, “The old school at Shakespeare Street is a remarkable building which maximised natural light for its pupils with two-and-a-half storey windows. We are pleased not only to have preserved it but also to have mirrored its architectural qualities and tall windows in the new buildings while remaining in keeping with the surrounding built environment.”

The Shakespeare Building is the latest architecturally significant property which has been kept in the city’s heritage portfolio by Spectrum, using ‘advanced preservation and restoration’ techniques such as façade retention.

Previous sites converted include Hillhead High School, the former Hydepark Public School in Springburn and Shettleston Public Baths. The firm also converted art collector and city benefactor Sir William Burrell’s Great Western Road mansion and is currently engaged in the retention and development of the former Golfhill School near Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

Mr Roddie added, “Buildings from the past century can sometimes fall through the net in the city’s estate and become prey to dilapidation, vandalism and water penetration. With the best will in the world, sometimes cash-strapped councils just do not have the resources to make the most of them. This is where outside contractors who have specialist skills – especially, like us, in brownfield and listed buildings – can make a contribution and give these important properties a whole new lease of life.”