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GSA board unanimously back Mack rebuild

September 17 2018

 GSA board unanimously back Mack rebuild

Hopes that The Glasgow School of Art may one day be rebuilt have been given a boost after Muriel Gray, chairwoman of the school’s board, told the BBC that the premises ‘will be rebuilt’ to the original drawings.

Dismissing speculation that the Mackintosh Building could be repurposed as a museum, or even demolished entirely, Gray is adamant that the school will return into use as a working art school, insisting that this goal is ‘non-negotiable’.

Three months have passed since a devastating blaze swept through the building, but the school still remains cordoned off as investigators assess both the full extent of the damage and seek to understand how a devastating fire can have been allowed to take hold twice in four years.

Gray has pledged full transparency in all investigative work but conceded that The Mack could be out of action for a further decade and had no estimate for what any rebuild cost might be, although some capital remains unspent from the 2014 fire appeal.
Speaking to the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme Gray said: “There is absolutely no way it wouldn't be a working art school. It's non-negotiable

“The board of governors were completely unanimous about this and it's not up for discussion. The debate now is how we fit in to the whole tragedy that's happened to the entire Garnethill community and the Sauchiehall street refurbishing and how we do that as a working art school.”

Patience is wearing thin amongst the school’s neighbours with the CCA critical of continued delays in granting access to the Scott Street venue, the latest of which has pushed back a mid-September estimate into October.

Professor Tom Inns, director of The Glasgow School of Art said: “The Glasgow School of Art has a close relationship with the CCA. We have been working with them to identify solutions to the key issue of their fire exits on Scott Street, and to see what can be done to enable managed access.

“Along with Glasgow City Council we had hoped that access in mid-September might have been possible, but inspections of the building following the final removal of existing scaffolding on the south west corner confirmed that additional work would need to be undertaken here.”

In recent days an unchecked toilet leak has led to the collapse of a gallery ceiling at the CCA, damaging more artwork in the process.


#1 Posted by Pleasantfield on 17 Sep 2018 at 12:44 PM
Well done Muriel. Clears the air. Now it would further help to know what caused this fire.
#2 Posted by David on 17 Sep 2018 at 15:15 PM
Fantastic news. Hopefully this now means we won't hear any more nonsense about 'having a proper debate about it'...
James Hepburn
#3 Posted by James Hepburn on 17 Sep 2018 at 15:29 PM
It's truly incredible that 'Two Fires' Gray should be allowed to have anything further to do with the MAC. Indeed they should be investigated for negligence after what can only be described as woeful stewardship of a Glasgow Icon.
#4 Posted by JS on 17 Sep 2018 at 16:23 PM
#3, how about letting the Fire and Rescue Service complete its fire investigation and publish its report before suggesting that the current School administration is responsible? Given the second fire occurred on a live building site, it is possible (although - until the outcome of the investigation is known - uncertain) that the fault lies with a party (or parties) other than the GSA.
James Hepburn
#5 Posted by James Hepburn on 17 Sep 2018 at 17:16 PM
JS how about NOT letting anyone from the Board having anything to do with the MAC given they had responsibility for ensuring the safety of the building not once but twice? After the first fire they received the Scottish Fire Service's report which amongst other things highlighted the lack of a sprinkler system. They failed to have one installed during refurbishment which is negligence. The Board of any company is responsible for the maintenance and safety for premises and people. It doesn't need an investigation to understand that.
#6 Posted by JS on 18 Sep 2018 at 12:58 PM
#5, the refurbishment wasn't complete, and a sprinkler system was about to be installed. So by the end of the refurbishment they would have been seen to have taken on board the first investigation's recommendation(s) and fulfilled their responsibility regarding automatic suppression...
James Hepburn
#7 Posted by James Hepburn on 18 Sep 2018 at 15:57 PM
It's a fact that the period in which a fire is most likely to take place is during construction. Temporary sprinkler systems can be fitted during this phase. In any event the failure to take adequate steps to prevent a recurrence can only be seen as negligent.

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