Orkney Islands Council has agreed to proceed with plans to demolish the former Papdale Halls of Residence in Kirkwall in order to clear the site for potential development.
The Council has budgeted up to £2.5 million for the demolition, with the high costs due to potential contamination issues. It is expected that demolition could be completed by 2022, with a suitably qualified contractor yet to be identified.
The building ceased to be used as halls of residence in October 2013 and has been subject to several break-ins and acts of vandalism, resulting in significant unplanned spend on repairs and security measures. Discussions are ongoing with the private nursery provider currently resident on site.
Hayley Green is the Council’s Head of IT and Facilities. She said: “The future of the building was brought up during our Community Conversations public meetings earlier this year, with the public keen to see the Council take some action on the building.
“Since it closed in 2013, the building has suffered several security breaches, break ins, vandalism and malicious acts resulting in an increasing unsightly appearance and revenue expenditure on unplanned maintenance, such as securing windows and door openings and boarding up broken glazing. The Council has put in place security measures to minimise this risk until the building can be demolished.”
A new Papdale Halls of Residence, built through the Council’s Schools Investment Programme and opened in the autumn of 2013, provides accommodation for secondary school students from both the North and South Isles to enable them to complete their education at Kirkwall Grammar School.