Calls to demolish former Aberdeen school hit by fire

Cordyce School in Dyce after the fire.

A former Aberdeen school could cost the taxpayer £224 a day unless it is knocked down, a new report says.

Aberdeen City Council chiefs have argued the fire-hit Cordyce School on Riverview Drive, Dyce, should be demolished so they can take it off the authority’s books and stop it becoming an expense.

Councillors will meet next Thursday to rule on the building’s future.

The Evening Express reported in November that 32 firefighters worked through the night to put out a blaze which caused extensive damage to the school.

At the time of the blaze, the school for pupils with behavioural issues was not in use and a consultation on its long-term future was under way.

The consultation is now complete and the council is recommending councillors permanently close the school as of April 1 and agree for the main building to be demolished, leaving only two accommodation blocks standing.

No business rates are currently being paid by the council on the land due to a relief scheme.

However, in the report, due to be presented to the council’s education and children’s services committee, the council’s assets and finance service manager Andrew Jones warns this will not always be the case.

“While the building remains in place but not operating as a school, the payment of non-domestic rates relief would have been required, at a cost of approximately £82,000 per year after an initial rates relief discount period,” said Mr Jones. That amounts to £224 a day.

Mr Jones added: “To remove this rates liability, the building would need to be demolished, sold or leased out to a third party.”

He said retaining the building and site would leave the council with ongoing property costs.

The school cost £145,760 per year to run when it was open – the most expensive in the city – but many of the services that were funded, such as water and electricity, are no longer needed.

If councillors decide to close it, the Scottish Government would have eight weeks to challenge the decision.