Press release - 24 July 2019

Fire damage at historic Aberdeen school revealed

A new image shows the destruction caused by the fire that tore through Aberdeen’s old Victoria Road Primary in May.

The Torry blaze caused the roof to partly cave in and left the building severely damaged.

Police and the fire brigade launched a joint probe into the incident but efforts were hampered because the granite structure was deemed unsafe.

Aberdeen City Council handed over the keys for the building to its new owners, Grampian Housing Association and its partners the Torry Development Trust, last month.

The new pictures were taken while architect Steven Berry from David Murray Associates visited the 141-year-old building this week.

They showed the partly demolished structure with charred debris lying on the ground nearby.

 

Mr Berry was on the site to carry out a full internal assessment of the property including the parts damaged by the fire.

His inspection will also help Grampian Housing Association draw up designs for its proposed housing development, with a planning application due to be submitted in August.

A spokeswoman for the Huntly Street-based housing association said: “Since Grampian Housing Association took ownership of the site, we are following through on our commitment to undertake safeguarding works and work to ensure that the buildings are wind and watertight.

“Assessment of the fire damage is ongoing but it is our intention to progress with our plans to provide quality affordable homes on the site.

“The development will assist people who want to stay in a new setting on Victoria Road.

“When complete, there will also be community facilities on the site and an initial meeting is planned with Aberdeen City Council to take these plans forward.

“The partnership approach by Grampian Housing Association and Torry Development Trust aims to secure the restoration and reuse of two fine structural sound granite buildings for future generations.”

Aberdeen South MP Ross Thomson has welcomed progress to give the school, which was closed in 2008, a new lease of life.

Mr Thomson said: “After a rocky and challenging start, the Victoria Road project looks to have a bright future. 

“I am proud to be the MP for a constituency which has forward-thinking community groups like Torry Development Trust.

“I know it will be a cornerstone of the community and a lovely place to live.”

Torry and Ferryhill councillor Catriona Mackenzie said people in the area will be happy that the proposed project is moving forward.

 

She said:

 

“It’s good to see that retaining the granite buildings is still a priority and I’m sure folk across Torry will be pleased to hear work is progressing.”

Victoria Road Primary School was built in 1878 after the Fishermen’s Association of Old Torry agreed to pay £1,400 towards the cost.

new image shows the destruction caused by the fire that tore through Aberdeen’s old Victoria Road Primary in May.