Signing up for education at Donaldson’s

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IT is a landmark Edinburgh building of which countless former pupils will have many happy memories.

The closing of Donaldson’s School for the Deaf in 2008, however, left huge question marks hanging over the future of the William Playfair-designed attraction, as students embarked on a new life at its Linlithgow campus.

Pupils try out speech training hearing aids at Donaldson's School for the Deaf in 1964

Pupils try out speech training hearing aids at Donaldson's School for the Deaf in 1964

Yet this week the Murrayfield site was confirmed for redevelopment into luxury flats and apartments, after a deal was struck between its owners and an award-winning restoration firm.

The new phase in the building’s life will add to its rich history, shown here in the many pictures of pupils carving out an education for themselves.

Back in February 1963 this great photograph was taken of a young pupil and his teachers, the determination in his face evident for all to see.

Such was the case also in this picture of older female students in 1963, their time at Donaldson’s likely coming to an end.

A pupil and teachers at Donaldson's in 1963

A pupil and teachers at Donaldson's in 1963

Now the building will become home to a new generation of occupants with property experts believing the proposed luxury flats could become “the most desirable residential addresses in Scotland, if not the UK”.

Developers have set out a tight schedule for consultation to take place and new planning permission to be secured, with a target of June for consent to be secured ahead of an “immediate” start to work.

Architects have been told to accommodate unique historical features such as the building’s internal staircases and the grand corridor that runs along the entire quadrangle, which was under threat in original plans.

The junior department at Donaldson's in 1958

The junior department at Donaldson's in 1958

A lesson in 1963

A lesson in 1963

A lesson in 1963

A lesson in 1963