NOT many people can say they live where their grandchildren have been educated.
But that is the case for Hartlepool woman Barbara Scott.
She is the first lucky tenant to have moved into the former Jesmond Road Primary School, known for years in the town as ‘Jezzie Jailhouse’.
The original building, which was designed by architect E Percy-Hinde, who won a design competition, was built in 1902.
But it is no longer used as a school and was converted into flats last year, with the children from Jesmond Road Primary School being moved to a new £7m building nearby, in its successor Jesmond Gardens Primary School.
Barbara, an accounts administrator, moved in last July, having previously lived in Dowson Road, as she was looking for something nearer to her daughter Lisa Avery, and her grandchildren, Max, 13, and nine-year-old Maddie.
Max and Maddie were no strangers to their gran’s new home, as they used to attend the school as pupils.
She opted for a one-bedroomed flat with a mezannine floor, which she says has a lot of space and light.
Original touches from the school can be seen in the flats, and Barbara has a girder, made by Middlesbrough firm Dorman Long, that formed part of the school, still visible on her bedroom wall.
She said: “It was a lovely big school, and they have kept some of the features, and the former playground is going to be my patio.
“I think the teachers would be pleased it hasn’t been knocked down and the original features have been kept.”
Barbara added that her flat is where the former nursery was.
“To think of all the kids that must have run through here is just amazing,” she added.
“I love my flat – I love the fact that people get the wow factor when they walk in.”
Barbara has also added a touch of personality to her home with a 4ft butterfly on her wall – she set up the Butterflies friendship group three years ago, which has gone from strength to strength. The flats are now complete, with more residents moving in, and Barbara, who is also mum to Joanne Hay and grandmother to Natalia Hay, who live in Dubai, said: “When more people move in, it’s going to be great.
“I’m really settled.”
The property is very distinctive, built in Queen Anne Revival style, and was originally designed for up to 600 children.
It closed as a school in 2011 and was bought by Moor Galloway and Company then bought the old school building in November 2011 and embarked upon a multi-million pound restoration of the school to form 38 one and two-bedroomed flats.
Bosses at Moor Galloway and Company say the school is Grade II-listed because it is one of the remaining best examples of this type of school building in the country.
Each flat is based upon one of the original classrooms and because of the huge windows, an extremely light and airy feel is created.
Externally the playground area is being landscaped and will provide secure parking.
The flats will not be available for sale, but will be available for rent to people who are working.