Historic Greenview School set to be turned into flats for rent

Catriona Stewart Columnist/reporter

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WORK has started on transforming the site of a former primary school in the north of Glasgow into affordable housing.

The former Greenview School was designed by James Austen Laird, personal assistant to Sir JJ Burnet, one of Glasgow’s most distinguished architects.

A B-listed building, the Buckley Street school is undergoing a £4.1 million transformation into 28 flats for social rent.

Some £2.5m has been given by Glasgow City Council for the project.

Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “This is a fantastic project, with the conversion of one community asset - a former primary school - into 20 affordable homes for Parkhouse.

“We want to work with our partners to deliver as many affordable homes as we can in Glasgow, and we can look forward to many such developments in the city in the coming years.”

Loretto Housing Association, part of Wheatley Group, is behind the work on the school building.

It, as well as the adjoining janitor’s house, is being refurbished to include 20 flats, with the other eight being a new-build development on the same site. The homes will be for older tenants.

Douglas Robin, chairman of Loretto Housing, said: “At Loretto, we want to build better homes and better lives for our tenants.

“These modern, energy-efficient new homes will help people save on their fuel bills and really improve their quality of life

“Preserving this distinctive building, while building much-needed affordable housing, will make a big difference to this part of Glasgow.”

The new homes are a mix of one and two-bedroom flats, with one of the flats suitable for wheelchairs. They are expected to be complete around April next year.

The former janitor’s house will be supported accommodation for people with a learning disability.

Gary Climson, Managing Director of McTaggarts said: “Bringing this characterful, old building back into use for the benefit of the community is very gratifying for our team.

“As the building is listed, we are combining traditional craftmanship with modern techniques to create these contemporary, highly-efficient homes.”

Paul Sweeney MP said it was apt the historic school was being brought back into public use.

Mr Sweeney, MP for Glasgow North East and board member of the Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, said: “Parkhouse was one of the first districts to be developed for municipal housing by Glasgow Corporation after the passing of the historic 1924 Housing Act, led by Glasgow Labour MP John Wheatley.

“The superior ‘cottage’ style of dwellings in Parkhouse was modelled on Ebenezer Howard’s ‘garden suburb’ concept, presenting a stark contrast to the city’s traditional tenements, and was intended to serve as a showpiece for the healthier post-war city.

“The north of Glasgow lost much of its historic built environment though poor planning decisions in previous decades, so it is encouraging that there is a renewed focus on creating new housing to repopulate the area, while protecting what is left of our heritage in this part of the city.”

He added: “This new investment to protect its heritage by Wheatley Group and Loretto HA lives up to those founding principles of good quality social housing championed by John Wheatley.”

Loretto has already built around 200 homes since joining Wheatley Group in 2014.

As well as Buckley Street, work is well underway on another 114 Loretto homes at sites in Broomfield Road, Wallacewell Quadrant and Shawbridge Street, all in Glasgow.

Work will start soon on another 28 new Loretto homes in Muiryhall Street, Coatbridge.