An abandoned school building that has been hit by suspected arson is to be demolished.
The building, off Normanby Road, Eston, was formerly occupied by Archway School but was vacated in October 2019. The school, which caters to pupils who have been excluded, later moved to a new refurbished location in the former Teesville Infants School, nearby Learning Lane, becoming an academy in the process.
Earlier this year Redcar and Cleveland Council agreed a contract worth over £140,000 with Durham-based MGL Demolition to demolish the 1970s-built building and safely dispose of any asbestos it contained in its structures. MGL previously carried out the demolition of the former R-Kade indoor skate park in Redcar to make way for a proposed new hotel.
READ MORE: A probe has been launched into a fire that ravaged an old school building near a leisure center
The company was on hand to carry out preliminary work, with demolition due to take place next month. The barricaded building, surrounded by a palisade, is close to the now mothballed Eston Leisure Center swimming pool, which is also to be demolished to make way for a new facility.
South Bank Ward Councilor Sandra Smith said: ‘There was a fire last year started by young people but it had to be put down anyway. Everything is still on track and on schedule to start in June. »
Councilor Vince Smith, who represents the nearby town of Teesville, said: ‘There have been various discussions about what to do with it. The school will first be demolished and then used as a complex for the contractors to demolish before rebuilding the baths which are collapsing.
A decision report delegated by council outlined how the masonry associated with the current structure would be broken down, crushed and recycled over the footprint of the original building.
He said the building posed a safety risk and that the fire last July caused significant damage to the west wing of the building, which previously contained a school kitchen. Five crews from Middlesbrough, Grangetown, Redcar, Thornaby and Saltburn fought the blaze, which sent thick black smoke into the sky for several hours.