CALA unveils plans for ‘sensitive restoration’ of historic Edinburgh school

Boroughmuir High School 1The first visuals of an outline concept to sympathetically restore and revitalise the historic Boroughmuir High School building in Edinburgh have been unveiled by CALA Homes.

The designs show concept plans for an open courtyard with a series of walkways, along with a stunning conversion of a large classroom into a split level mezzanine apartment.

Pupils from the school in Viewforth are to move into a £35 million purpose-built new campus and the City of Edinburgh Council agreed to sell the Category-B Listed building to CALA Homes, which has its national headquarters in the city.

The housebuilder will be undertaking a public exhibition on Friday 17th June 3pm to 7pm and Saturday 18th June 9am to 1pm at St Oswald’s Hall, Montpelier Park, Edinburgh. The exhibition will show initial proposals to transform the building, by creating 87 mezzanine apartments, while also delivering 28 much-needed affordable homes in one of the city’s most sought after locations.

Boroughmuir High School 3David McGrath, managing director with CALA Homes (East), said: “We are at the very earliest stages of the process and will be consulting widely with the local community.

“While we believe we have come up with a sympathetic restoration plan which will enhance an already thriving area, there is a long way to go and we want to seek the views of local people.

“The upcoming public consultation event will be a chance for anyone interested to see these proposals in more detail and to help shape the final application we will submit.

“Our team are proud to be involved in such an exciting project and we fully appreciate what a privilege it is to redevelop such a much-loved city landmark. We believe the plans we have outlined fully do that justice.”

The initial proposals will outline how the building could look with a landscaped central courtyard and will also include initial artist’s impressions of how the mezzanine apartments, across three floors, would fully respect the impressive full-length windows throughout the building.

The plans would also see a separate annexe building converted into affordable housing, while a new apartment block of affordable one and two bedroom flats would be built.

When the council announced it would be selling the site, more than 20 offers were received. Councillors voted overwhelmingly to accept the CALA Homes bid, with the proceeds being ploughed back into schools and elderly care in the area.

Mr McGrath added: “We are delighted this process is bringing real, tangible, long-term benefits to the area and we believe the creation of high-quality new homes will further enhance this part of Edinburgh.

“In the meantime, it makes sense for us to be starting the journey through the due and proper planning process and we are working towards having a full and formal planning application submitted later this year.”

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