Rallying cry to save one of Sheffield's oldest school buildings
A rallying cry has been made to save one of Sheffield's oldest school buildings, which faces an uncertain future.
The former Heeley National School building, opposite Heeley Green Surgery on Gleadless Road, dates from 1801 and was built on the site of an earlier 18th-century establishment providing education long before it was available to the masses.
A report by the South Yorkshire Archaeology Service previously said only a former school on School Green Lane, in Ecclesfield, was 'demonstrably older'.
But it was spared the wrecking ball as leaseholder CareTech Community Services said the demand was not there and, with planning permission having since expired, the owner now has no proposals in place for the building's future as its condition continues to deteriorate.
Andy Jackson, manager of Heeley Trust, which works to restore disused buildings like the nearby Anns Grove School for community use, said: "We would like to see the building preserved, if possible, because it's one of the oldest surviving school buildings and part of the story of how we developed as a city.
A spokesman for CareTech said: "At the moment there are no plans for the site, other than to maintain the safety of the building as it is."
Vincent Malone, who lives near the building, said: "I pass it every day and it's a crying shame what's happened to that building. They shouldn't demolish it. They should do something with it for the community, like making it into a little nursery."
Howard Greaves, of Hallamshire Historic Buildings, said an attempt a few years ago to secure listed status for the building had failed since it had been altered internally.
"It really should be preserved because it's an important part of Heeley's history," he added.
David Smith, chairman of Heeley's History Workshop, attended the building as a pupil in the 1950s.
He said: "The front looks quite sturdy but the roof's caved in and the building as a whole is in a quite a bad state. I wouldn't mind it being turned into housing but whatever they do they should keep the facade."