The Fife Council has officially approved a preferred bidder for Madras College’s Kilrymont campus, which will be completely vacated in August as students move to their new school at Langlads, St Andrews.
Despite Covid-19 setbacks, the new campus is being completed on schedule, with Fife Council stating that it will be ready to welcome students in August, following the summer holidays. The new state-of-the-art building is part of the Building Fife’s Future program, organized by the Fife Council.
The existing Kilrymont campus is made up of 15.5 acres of land and includes the school building, which stands at 109,764 square feet, and the accompanying sports hall, which is 15,672 square feet. Also included is car parking, sports fields, and amenity spaces. The main school building is ‘B’ listed, which could present a unique challenge in redevelopment. Category B buildings indicate regional importance, or a particular architectural style unique to a specific time period. This categorization can hinder any sort of demolition process.
While the planning brief issued by the council for bidders indicated that the site could be utilized in a multitude of ways for business, education, care homes, or student accommodation, the planning application itself has not yet been put forth, and likely will not be until the sale of the property is finalized. As of now, it is unknown what approach the developer will take with the Kilrymont campus.
There is, however, reason to be optimistic. Asset and Corporate Services Sub-Committee convenor, Cllr David Barratt, said, “The committee’s decision to approve disposal, via a bid process undertaken for the sale of the Kilrymont Campus, is a positive step forward in securing a future use for the current school site.
“The council’s marketing of the campus involving an approved Development & Design Brief yielded several high-quality submissions allowing the committee to make a positive decision on a disposal which will work to the advantage of the location and community from investment.”
Madras’ South Street campus was sold to The University of St Andrews in 2017 when Fife Council settled on an option agreement, buying the 18-acre Langlads site from the university for £2.5 million. That £2.5 million price tag included the South Street building, which has been in the possession of the university ever since.
At the time of the agreement, Ken Gourly, Head of Asset and Facilities Management at Fife Council released a report which said, “The mechanics of the arrangements are that there will be a simultaneous exchange of ownership of the Langlands site for the South Street campus plus the additional £2.5m.
“The university will also simultaneously lease the South Street campus back to the council at a nominal rent until the buildings are vacated following completion of construction of the new school at Langlands.
The council will remain responsible for the maintenance and insurance of the South Street campus until vacated.”
As for the future of the South Street Building, in a statement, a university spokesperson said, “The receipt of Madras into the University Estate will transform the way in which our activities map onto the physical landscape of our town – and in so doing, it provides us with the opportunity to improve infrastructure, to release pressure on particularly busy parts of town, and to invest into improving the environment in which we all live. The site will be a New College.”
The sale of both properties comes as a relief to residents of St Andrews, where the possibility of a long term vacancy raised concerns about vandalism.