THE 128-year-old former Clarendon Primary School building in Great Lever will be demolished after it was wrecked by a huge fire.
Firefighters are still damping down the blaze, which gutted the roof of the old school after it broke out at about 6pm last night.
The council had already planned to demolish the building and replace it with a park after the school was moved to a new home in Heywood Park, on the other side of Bridgeman Street, in April.
Fire investigators are now on the scene trying to establish the cause of the blaze, which continued to burn throughout the night.
The fire is now mostly out but firefighters are still tackling isolated patches of burning material in the roof, which has been almost completely ripped away.
A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said the cause of the fire has not yet been determined, but their inquries are ongoing.
The roof is believed to contain asbestos, which could be harmful, although fire chiefs now believe most of it has already been stripped out.
Bolton Central watch manager Dave Thomason said: “A fire investigation team is here now looking at the cause.
“We are in communications with police who are awaiting our findings.
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“The scene will be cordoned off for a while and we are going to hand over to the council’s dangerous buildings team soon so it can be made safe.
“The fire is mostly out but we are still damping down and there are still isolated patches in the roof area.”
Two fire engines and an aerial platform are still at the scene this morning.
Residents say the large Victorian building has become a target for vandals since it became derelict about five weeks ago.