A petition opposing the demolition of a historic former school has gained the backing of over 300 supporters in just under 24 hours.
Yesterday Wrexham.com reported that next week members of Wrexham Council’s Executive Board were to debate the options for the future of the former Groves school.
The site has remained vacant for several years, with part of the school demolished in 2013.
Since then the former girl’s school building has fallen into a ‘dilapidated state’ and is ‘no longer fit for purpose’.
On Tuesday members of the Executive Board will meet to discuss the future of the site, with four options listed within next week’s meeting report. These including converting the building into an educational provision, mothballing the building for future use and demolishing the building but retain the facade.
However the option recommended for approval by councillors is to remove any remaining asbestos from the building and to demolish and clear the site for the future development of one, or even two new schools
Speaking earlier this week, a statement released by Wrexham Council noted: “The council faces rising demand for school places as the population of the county borough grows. The Welsh Government forecasts that the population of the County Borough will increase from 135,070 to 155,306 by 2028, which will put pressure on existing school spaces.
“Refurbishment or redevelopment of the former school would cost more than £5m, meaning creating a new, fit-for-purpose school on the site is the better option.”
The meeting report continues onto say: “Subject to legal advice, as an interim measure, whilst the site remains unused, it is proposed to use the site to provide car parking for staff. This will have two benefits. Firstly, it will relieve any pressure on public car parking spaces in Wrexham town centre and secondly, it will provide a daily presence which will help to deter trespassers and rough sleepers.”
The option to demolish the building has been met with opposition online and a petition calling for the Council to reconsider the recommendation to demolish the building and clear the site.
Details within the petition state: “We, the undersigned wish to ensure the future of the building formerly known as Grove Park Girls’ School, Wrexham. This building was built as a dedicated girls’ grammar school in 1938 after formerly sharing a building with Grove Park Boys’ School.
“The building is now falling into disrepair and we are afraid that our local Council will see fit to demolish it if it becomes too dilapidated. It is a beautiful red brick building and has many features of historical interest. With the rise in population recently, we feel that there could well be a need in a few year’s time for it to be used again as a school.
“However the building could be put to good use for many cultural purposes but the main concern at the moment is that it should not fall further into disrepair. Please sign our petition so that we may urge local Councillors to preserve this important part of Wrexham’s heritage.”
At the time of writing the petition has already gained the support of 326 people.
The future of the former Groves site will be debated by members of the Executive Board on Tuesday 11th January at 10am. For those who cannot attend the meeting, it will be webcast live on the ‘Wrexham Council TV’ website.