Monday, July 23, 2018

News: Council prepares to sell off historic former boys' school

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A former boys' school in Rotherham that dates back to the 1800s could be sold off for redevelopment by the local council.

Officers are seeking expressions of interest "for the possible freehold disposal, commercial lease or asset transfer lease" of the former St Ann's building on the edge of Rotherham town centre.

St Ann's Road Board School opened a new boy's department in 1893 on the corner of St Leonard's Road. Providing accommodation for 244 children, the stone building includes a 45 ft bell tower above the main entrance.

The Council's legal pack for the property states: "The property comprises of a former boys school largely built towards the end of the 1800's with some additional extensions being added over the years. Mostly of stone construction, the St Ann's building has an attractive frontage, including an impressive tower above the main entrance.

"Although previously used as a school, the site has been vacant for over 15 years. Internally the property has been stripped back to bear [sic] brick and rafters."

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The marketing exercise is being undertaken solely to gauge interest for the building. The future of the building is to be determined by the Council's cabinet at a later date. The 0.3 acre site is described as "suitable for a number of uses — Subject to Planning."

Whilst not a listed building, the property is on Rotherham Civic Society's local list which compiles properties of architectural or historic interest.

The society states that the original boys department became the St Leonard's annexe of the Rotherham College of Arts and Technology in late 1979. The former girls department and infants department building was converted into the Unity Centre in early 2000.

The adjacent Unity Centre, a multi-purpose community resource, would not form part of the proposed sale.

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The Rotherham District Civic Society's add that the building is now one of the very few examples of the School Board's work left standing and that: "these are important examples of the work of local architects such as Henry Louis Tacon, James E. Knight and Joseph Platts. These buildings also complement and are material to the setting of the Grade II Listed Church of St Stephen."

The church is now St Anthony Church having been a Coptic Orthodox Church since 1997.

The site is situated with in a conservation area and currently allocated for community use. Restrictive covenants are also thought to be in place regarding the use of the site.

Images: RMBC

2 comments:

Anonymous,  July 23, 2018 at 1:43 PM  

“Bear brick and rafters”. Another Rotherham genius.

Rod Laughton July 23, 2018 at 2:20 PM  

What do you expect? This is the Council that is going to demolish the last “Central school”* (from the days of the forward-thinking Spurley Hey)... to make way for a car park. Hopeless, backward-thinking, dolts the lot of them. (*Kimberworth Infants dating to 1913.)

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