Jan 23 2013 by Michael Pringle, Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
The demolition of an historic Coatbridge school has been delayed after asbestos was found in the building.
But the stay of execution for the former Whifflet Primary will only be a temporary one as work is due to restart after the dangerous material has been safely removed.
The building on School Street was category C-listed with Historical Scotland but was de-listed back to “no status” in July last year, clearing the way for it to be demolished.
The demolition work started on November 26 and was expected to be completed by the end of this month at a cost of just over £40,000.
But that date has now been pushed back and completion of the project is now expected to be some time in February, with the final costs set to rise due to the asbestos discovery.
Some work is currently continuing in areas where there is no threat to health but the main demolition work has halted.
The school was built in 1887, when the first block was completed, and a second block was added in 1910.
Its last pupils walked out of the gates over 25 years ago and its demolition will be seen by many as the passing of an era.
Originally opened as Whifflet Public School, the building was latterly used as temporary homeless accommodation by the former Monklands District Council following its decommissioning as a school in 1988.
A new phase of work extending the accommodation capacity started in 1995 at a cost of almost £430,000.
The day-to-day running of the temporary accommodation was then taken over by North Lanarkshire Council. When fully operational the temporary accommodation, known as Old School Court, housed 38 people.
It closed in 2010 and the building has been lying empty since.
North Lanarkshire Council say that future use of the land has yet to be determined.