CAMPAIGNERS last night protested at a Victorian school building that is under threat from demolition.
Residents gathered outside Hawthorn Junior School in Hawthorn Road West, Llandaff North, in protest against Cardiff council’s plans.
The school is already due to close as part of the city’s schools reorganisation programme but the Save Hawthorn School Action Group wants the building to become a listed building and used for another purpose in the community rather than knocked down.
Four generations of Michelle Gilbert’s family have attended Hawthorn, including her uncle Albert, who boarded there. The 36-year-old from Belleview Crescent is devastated a school which has been a big part of her family for so many years could be knocked down.
She said: “I’m absolutely gutted.
“It’s a waste of a building. It could become an adult learning centre because all the classrooms are already there.”
Councillor Ann Rowland-James was also at the protest.
She said: “I’ve got to make sure that this building gets the chance to be a community facility.”
Chair of the action group, Stephanie Wilkins, asked people to show their support by attending the council’s planning meeting on June 10, the location and time of which is yet to be decided. She also asked people to visit the group’s website at www.savehawthornschool.weebly.com.
The council said the sale of the school site was essential to fund the city’s education. A council spokeswoman said: “The only way we can fund the £60m improvements needed for our school buildings is by undertaking a school reorganisation programme as the money available from the Welsh Assembly Government will not be enough to ensure our schools are fit for the 21st Century.
“A Wales Audit Office report also confirmed that Assembly funding needs to be supplemented by receipts from land sales if significant investments such as those which are taking place at the new Hawthorn Primary site are to be achieved.”
Cardiff council has applied for outline planning permission to demolish the building and build nine houses and a block of flats on the land.