Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Old Doncaster Girls' High School frontage plans for new library

Artist impression of the new Doncaster Library (June 2017) Image copyright doncaster council
Image caption Doncaster's new library hub would measure 4,580 sq m (49,000 sq ft) over three to four floors

The front of a former girls' school could be restored to its former glory to create a new library hub in Doncaster.

Doncaster Girls' High School's facade on Chequer Road would be attached to a new £15m building, housing the central library, museum and art gallery, archives and school library service.

If Doncaster Council's plans are approved, the hub could be open by the spring of 2020.

The plans will be considered on 4 July.

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The museum and art gallery, and the central library are in two separate 1960s town centre buildings, with the archives in a former school in Balby, and the school library service at Barnby Dun.

Doncaster Council said all four buildings needed "significant repairs" and even money spent on them would not make them fit for purpose.

However consolidating all four into one unique building would create a "cutting edge space" and a wonderful resource for residents, Mayor Ros Jones said.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Doncaster Archives is currently in a former school on Florence Avenue in Balby

Doncaster Girls' School was built in 1910 and extended in 1935.

It merged with Doncaster Boys' Grammar in 1971 to become Hall Cross Comprehensive, but was mostly demolished by 2013. A boutique hotel promised for the site never materialised.

The council said a new hub would "inspire creativity" and encourage new visitors to the town.

Exhibits not seen in public for years could be displayed, including the Danum Shield, Royal Borough Charters and collections celebrating Doncaster's links with railways, horseracing, mining and Roman history.

Bob Fitzharris, chair of the Freemen of Doncaster, said it would be "absolutely marvellous" to see the school frontage restored to its former glory with all services together under one roof.

Ms Jones said the "landmark building" would enhance Doncaster's cultural heritage and be "a total step change to what is currently being offered."

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