Stabilisation work at fire-damaged Mackintosh building on schedule

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Work to stabilise the west gable of the fire-damaged Mackintosh building is on schedule for completion by mid-October.

A cordon has been in place since fire ripped through the Glasgow School of Art building on June 15, leaving staff at the nearby Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) and local businesses Bagel Mania, News 4U and Paint & Mortar unable to get into their workplaces.

Art school chiefs said contractors have been working “flat out” to carry out stabilisation work in a “hugely complex” project.

The bracing scaffolding on the east gable and north facade is now complete, as is the additional wall head bracing on the south-east corner and the internal bracing at the main entrance to the building.

GSA door plates
The door plates to the Glasgow School of Art have been recovered from the building (Glasgow School of Art/PA)

A large number of artefacts have been found during the work, including the door plates from the main entrance to the building.

Professor Tom Inns, director of Glasgow School of Art, said: “The stabilisation work on the Mackintosh building is now almost complete.

“Weather permitting, we expect the work on the west gable to be completed by October 14, and we hope that this will mean the CCA, Bagel Mania, News 4U and Paint & Mortar will all be able to get back into their premises.

“We’ve been working particularly closely with the CCA to make sure that the damage to the gallery ceiling can be repaired and they can re-commission the building both for the cultural tenants and for public events as soon as possible.

“This has been a hugely complex project and we could not have completed it this quickly without the commitment of our contractors Reigart, SGB and Mabey, who have been working flat-out to get us to this stage.”

Mackintosh Building fire
Contractors have been working to dismantle parts of the building (David Cheskin/PA)

A screen is being built along Scott Street in front of the CCA as an extra level of protection.

Once the bracing scaffolding on Renfrew Street is completed, the damaged glass panels will be removed from the south facade of the Reid Building, following which it is hoped Glasgow City Council will be able to reopen the street for one lane of traffic.

The work on the Reid Building should be completed before Christmas.

The fire in June came as reconstruction following an earlier blaze in 2014 neared completion.

Art school chiefs have pledged that the building will be rebuilt.

Professor Inns said: “Going forward we have committed to rebuilding the Mack and bringing it back not just as a working art school, but as a resource for Garnethill and a creative powerhouse for the city.

“We want our neighbours to play a full part in this process and we look forward to working closely with them.”

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