Angus Council has started work to breathe new life into the old Chapelpark School in Forfar in a £5.6 million project that will transform the empty B-listed buildings into high quality affordable homes.
Over the next 16 months, 29 affordable Angus Council homes for social rent will be developed, comprising 18 one-bedroom flats, six two-bedroom flats, one three-bedroomed flat and four five-bedroomed townhouses.
Angus Council is financing the project with a £1.6m grant subsidy provided by the Scottish Government.
Local firm Andrew Shepherd Construction will carry out the construction work for the council.
Councillor Donald Morrison, communities convener, said: “This significant housing development will help meet a pressing need for affordable housing. Everybody has a right to good quality housing and we’re delighted that construction is now underway on this high-quality development.”
The homes will be completed to the silver standard of sustainability, which measures energy efficiency and carbon output.
Each home will be highly insulated and heated by a district heating system producing a lower carbon footprint and lower fuel bills for residents.
Councillor Jeanette Gaul, vice-convener of communities, said: “While the site will no longer be used for its original purpose, this project will re-invigorate this landmark in the heart of Forfar and ensure the façades are retained.
“The old buildings which have provided so many childhood memories for countless Forfarians will be renewed and transformed to provide modern, affordable and energy efficient accommodation for a new generation of our residents.”
The properties will be pre-allocated so tenants can be involved at various stages of the development prior to receiving the keys to their new homes around the anticipated completion date of summer 2017.
The building was built in 1910 and was the original Forfar Academy. It became Chapelpark Primary School when the new Forfar Academy opened in 1965.
The primary school closed in 2007 as part of a major re-development of primary school provision in the town, with the catchment area being split between the new-build Whitehills Primary School and the redeveloped Kirkriggs Primary School which was re-named Strathmore Primary.