Approval for widescale demolition at former Kelso High School is being sought

A planning application has been submitted to Scottish Borders Council for the demolition of large sections of the former Kelso High School.

Kelso High School.
Kelso High School.

Approval is being sought to flatten the teaching block, games hall, music block and dining hall and for the partial demolition of the main building and alterations to form 34 extra care residential flats.

Keslo contractor M&J Ballantyne is working on the project on behalf of Selkirk-based Eildon Housing.

Architect Aitken Turnbull’s design includes retaining the 1930s art deco facade of the attractive listed building. The school, in Bowmont Street, was closed four years ago after students moved to a £22m replacement in Angraflat Road.

Former Kelso High School.

The original building dates back to the 1930s and approval for its conversion was on condition that its main elevation and towers were retained.

The main school was built in 1939, with a major extension having been added in the 1960s and further extensions and additions in later years, including a canteen, teaching block, assembly hall, music department and all-weather sports pitch.

A report to the council from M&J Ballantyne says: “The demolition of these buildings can be carried out safely by proven demolition methods and sequencing, through top-down deconstruction techniques. No sections of the existing sections are to be retained, therefore the need for temporary shoring and support structures is removed. Dust, noise and traffic movements can be kept to acceptable levels.”