ITS rooms were designed to ring with the sounds of children's voices... and the A-listed Scotland Street School is to do so again.

Councillors are expected to this week approve plans to turn the famous Charles Rennie Mackintosh building into a nursery as part of Glasgow's early learning and childcare expansion.

As told previously in the Glasgow Times, the scheme was approved last year by Glasgow Life but now detailed plans will appear before a committee on Thursday.

Scotland Street School would host a new nursery, digital learning hub and a museum service as part of the renovation plans of the unique historical building.

Councillor Chris Cunningham, City Convener for Education, Skills and Early Years, said: “We are delighted to be announcing the plans to build more early years and childcare centres and to reveal the vision to re-imagine Scotland Street School Museum as an education establishment once again.

Glasgow Times: Chris Cunningham Chris Cunningham

"This new facility will provide additional support to Glasgow’s families and our youngest citizens.

"The visionary plans to see Scotland Street School welcome our youngest citizens to learn and play in such historic surroundings is exciting and will offer many unique and innovative learning experiences and breathe life back into the original purpose of this iconic building.

"These state-of-the-art facilities will complement our nursery provision across the city, offer flexibility for parents and carers and help meet the demand for the 1140 additional hours that our families will be entitled to."

Build in 1906, Scotland Street School closed as a school in 1979 and then reopened in 1990 as the Scotland Street Museum of Education run by Strathclyde Regional Council, primarily intended for school groups.

Following local government re-organisation in 1996 it was transferred to Glasgow Museums.

Glasgow Times: Scotland Street School Picture: Kirsty AndersonScotland Street School Picture: Kirsty Anderson

Councillors will consider proposals to develop the ground floor into a nursery providing early learning and childcare to three to five year olds.

The nursery would have access to the rear boys’ playground, which would be developed as part of the planned improvements.

It would be registered to provide 60 fulltime equivalent places.

The council is also looking at travel plans for the nursery with the option for parents to use park and ride facilities at Shields Road subway station.

Chairman of Glasgow Life and Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council David McDonald said: “I’m delighted we are moving forward with plans to bring children back in to Scotland Street School.

"The opportunity to play and learn again in one of the most famous schools in the city is one that I am sure will excite families in the local community.

"Our planned improvements will give nursery access to the rear boys’ playground and provide the children with an opportunity to learn within a living heritage site.

Glasgow Times: Councillor David McDonald Picture: Robert Perry Councillor David McDonald Picture: Robert Perry

"This will create a multi-purpose setting, which will provide nursery facilities alongside a highly-valued and evolving museum service.

"Opportunities to provide the public with a fuller understanding of this architectural masterpiece will also be explored.

"This, together with the earlier funding secured to carry out essential building repairs and protection, will safeguard the long-term future of this significant, historic building and ensure it is used by the local community and all citizens for generations to come."

The Scottish Government has awarded almost £45 million in funding to Glasgow City Council to fund projects that will allow the introduction of 1140 hours of funded nursery places for all three and four year olds, plus some two years olds.

Using the cash, new capital projects have been commissioned in wards across the city and investments have been made in the refurbishment and extensions of existing nurseries.

Plans include a new nursery in Tollcross Park to replace Parkhead Community Nursery, currently situated as part of Quarry Brae Primary school, with opportunities to expand outdoor learning for Glasgow's youngest learners.

Consultations on the Tollcross proposal and two additional new builds – in Broomhill and Govanhill – are running until February 18 and can be read at

A recent fire safety report of the building recommended works to create greater protection to the fabric of the listed building.

A number of surveys of the internal and external fabric of the building also show a range of work that needs to be done to ensure its future.

Glasgow City Council proposes carrying out these upgrades during the adaption works needed to turn the building into a nursery school.

Scotland Street School was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1903 and 1904 and built between 1904 and1906 for the School Board of Glasgow.

Stuart Robertson, Director of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society, said: "This is good news that much needed work is about to commence on Scotland Street School.

Glasgow Times: Scotland Street School, 1964Scotland Street School, 1964

"Mackintosh’s last major commission in Glasgow shows evidence of the genius of the mature architect, with impressive leaded-glass towers, magnificent tiled entrance hall, unique stonework and mastery of the interplay of light and space.

"We look forward to working with Glasgow Life and seeing the plans to restore this much-loved Mackintosh Visitor Attraction and bring children back into Scotland Street School."