Old school building being pulled down
7:48am Wednesday 6th March 2013 in Local
Frustrated neighbours have been calling for the former Oldhams Primary School to be bulldozed since it became a target for arsonists and vandals.
Builders started demolishing the Selkirk Road building internally on Monday and work is expected to last for six weeks.
A security guard is also on site overnight while contractors complete the work and police have upped their patrols around the empty school.
Arsonists last struck at the site last Tuesday when two thirds of the interior was burned and damaged beyond repair — the fourth blaze in the last three months.
Cllr Hilary Fairclough, who has been pushing for the demolition for months, said she was pleased with the latest security developments at the site.
She added: “The main thing is they are taking security at the site very seriously. They have an overnight security guard until the building is demolished, so hopefully there should be no further incidents.
“Also the police are taking an active role in liaising with the demolition company and patrolling regularly.
“So hopefully this should all go without a hitch. I am grateful that the departments acted quickly and brought forward the original date and I am sure residents feel the same.”
The future plans for the school are still unknown but it is thought the land could be sold.
A council spokesperson said: “We can confirm demolition of the former Oldhams school has started. The demolition process will take around six weeks.”
The building has also been used as a base for Starting Point, a “school” for new young international arrivals, but it has been empty and boarded up for nearly a year.
The nearby children’s play centre in nearby Barlow Park and wheelie bins across Astley Bridge are other regular targets for arsonists.