Campaign to save the Gilthill School Building.
The original Gilthill School building has now been saved. A preferred bidder has been selected by the council for the purchase of the old school, and a new school has been built behind the existing building, with the old school converted into apartments.
The Gilthill School Building.
Comments from local MP, Nick Palmer, taken from his weekly email.
There's been intense local controversy
over this, as you probably
know. Briefly, it's the small school in a well-preserved Victorian
building sitting prominently on a hill on the approach from Kimberley
to the IKEA roundabout. Inside it's exceedingly cramped and in many
respects (despite the high standards of the dedicated staff) a grim
reminder of the conditions in which many teachers and pupils in most
schools had to accept. Many people do have pleasant memories of
studying there as kids, but it really shouldn't go on as it is, and
this is not really in dispute.
With support from me they got £2m from the Government to replace
it, but it will mean knocking down the building as there's nowhere
else to go. An alternative would be to hollow it out and extend it -
this could delay the project by a year or two and it would retain a
number of the current problems, though obviously it'd be better than
now. Governors and parents are ranged against local conservationists,
who have got a petition with 1000 signatures against the project.
I'm pre-committed on this, since I promised to help them get a new
school long ago before the controversy arose, and can't rat on it
now, but I do see the difficulty of balancing decent educational
provision vs preservation of the traditional look of the town.
Consultations are in progress to see whether a compromise can after
all be found.
To subscribe to Nick Palmer's email list, and keep up with current developments,
please contact him using the email address NickMP1@aol.com
Comments from the group supporting saving the building.
We strongly oppose the demolition of
We propose either 1) the modernisation of the existing building and a 2 storey
extension built in sympathy to the original external style, to accommodate the 270
children, to provide them with all the modern facilities to satisfy the D of ES
requirements for the delivery of the National Curriculum, and to be of low maintenance
and low energy consumption or 2) the building of a new D of ES school on a
suitable site and the preservation of the Gilthill Heritage Building as a community centre.
Greasley Parish Council has been told
that the site is to be made larger, so our
proposal could incorporate staff parking on the site reducing problems on
adjacent road and pavements, as well as providing playground space.
Local tradesmen and builders say that
our proposal would be possible for around
the £2 million which the Authority is to invest and that it could be more expensive
to build a new school at the back and demolish the old one for playground and
car park. We have requested information on the Director of Education's costings
but have received nothing yet. We require this information to be
forthcoming very soon.
Our proposal advantages:
1) The conservation of our community in this area.
Community Schemes and projects are considered very important m these days
and are, rightly, encouraged and financially supported by the council. Our community
has been for centuries and is still very strong and is self-supporting. It does not
need a massive injection of cash, but it does need fair consideration from and
consultation with the council bearing in mind that the school has been waiting many
years for help with its accommodation problems.
Keeping this building:
(i) retains community links with heritage
(ii) keeps our roots
(iii) respects our community
Losing the building will be very destructive to the community.
2) The preservation of the place's
essentially Victorian traditional (the last traditional
Notts. brewery is based here) look and feel. We would hope that Nottinghamshire
could be proud of its remaining working villages for its own people and for its tourists.
3) The use of a sound, proven building.
4) The non-wasting of good red-brick.
5) The use of "best of breed" solid
1893 architecture outside and best 2003
technology inside. Surely this, truly, is progress.
6) The beautiful landmark building
standing as a school and polling station for another
100 years (a time capsule was placed in its walls at its centenary celebrations
in 1993) to be a symbol of the beginnings, in the late Victorian period, of democracy
for all the men and women and free education for all the children of Britain. A symbol of progress.
7) A historical reminder of the brave
men of the rebellion of 1817 who died at Gilthill,
oppressed by landlords who had no respect for their community.