Work resumes on historic Shakespeare Street school building

WORK has resumed on the third and final stage of the North Kelvin Apartments development close to Glasgow’s west end, following a year of Covid-related restrictions and delays.

The Hamlet building, which will complete the preservation of the former Shakespeare Street public school, now has scaffolding in place and drainage and foundation works have taken place.

Developer Spectrum Properties handed over keys to 23 of the 24 flats involved in the second stage – the Hathaway building – before Christmas.

Spectrum Properties MD Bill Roddie said, “It was quite an occasion to see all the removal vans lining up and all the Christmas trees being hastily put up in the windows. It was a real Christmas present for the area’s newest residents.”

Attention now turns to the final tranche of 32 flats at the site, where Spectrum has saved the red sandstone school building which dates from 1915 and created a new landscaped space within the Edwardian property’s playground.

Mr Roddie added, “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.

“For obvious reasons, all schedules have had to be radically re-arranged over the course of 2020 and the start of this year, but it is very satisfying to be fully operational again. I would like to thank our legal team at Levy & McRae who liaised with all the other professional services to deliver 23 conveyancings in time for Christmas.”

The Shakespeare Building is the latest architecturally significant property which have been kept in the city’s heritage portfolio by Spectrum, using advanced preservation and restoration techniques such as façade retention. The company has previously converted sites such as Hillhead High School, the former Hydepark Public School and Shettleston Public Baths. It 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.

Mr Roddie said, “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.”