J R Stewart, 1925 with later alterations. Large, single storey, butterfly-plan Arts and Crafts style school with double-height, pyramidal-roofed hexagonal entrance towers to N and S ends of central spine. Symmetrical, 3-bay, headmaster's and staff offices with classically styled central stone parapet entrance terminating W central spar. Timber glazed and boarded, piended-roof hall forming E spar built c1927 and later 20th C square-plan additions to N, all set on large open site. Predominantly harled. Brick entrance towers with sandstone dressings to 4-light clerestorey windows. Timber boarding to hall and timber and glazed exterior walls to classroom garden elevations. Timber columned verandas to South top hung metal runners to open classroom screens. Includes a mural by Jessie M King.
N ELEVATION: entrance tower to centre, 1-leaf panelled door with timber gabled canopy; classroom wing at angle to left, lean-to corridor with windows, windows to classroom above; harled classroom wing at angle to right with tall, single and bipartite windows.
S ELEVATION: similar to N but with gabled porch to entrance tower and verandas with sliding classroom doors to wings.
Various timber and metal windows with different glazing and opening patterns. Multi-pane windows, arranged horizontally to S above verandas. Timber gabled entrance canopies to towers. Concrete tile roofs with original plain tiles surviving to towers. Rendered ridge and wallhead stacks with overhanging brick course cornices.
INTERIOR: hexagonal entrance halls will blind niches leading to inner hall with further hexagonal rotundas with central domed coloured leaded glazing lights to top. Original timber and glazed doors with brass door handles and push plates. Wide sliding classroom doors on original runners to some classroom wings. Brick painted walls and timber channelled boarding to classroom areas. Naturalistic woodland scene coloured mural by contemporary artist Jessie M King. Other original details survive such as corridor clocks on brackets.
LODGE (TO NE OF MAIN BLOCK): plain, symmetrical, 3-bay former janitor's cottage with tall paired wallhead stacks. Dwarf concrete bed walls to former kitchen garden to rear.
Statement of Special Interest
The school building is an early and rare example of a purpose-built non residential school designed to educate children with physical and other disabilities. The building demonstrates some fine design detailing specific to the brief and is a rare survival of a building designed to fit the social and educational needs as defined at the time. The leading mural artist Jessie M King contributed to the decoration and may have have influenced the design further in the contemporary signage.
The single storey plan has sliding south facing classroom walls that extended on runners to open out under the covered veranda cleverly turning the individual classrooms into the open air in the spirit of sanatoria built at the time. The design is such that the separate classrooms are still clearly defined when the screens are open. The hall that forms the E central wing was built as a rest shelter for the children to have a quiet time during the school day; its south elevation being mostly glazed to make the most of the light and warmth. The school was originally a medical facility staffed by nurses and although it later became non medical the tradition was continued into the 1970s when teaching staff were still referred to as 'nurse'.
Drumpark Special School is an important and rare building and a fine example representing the social history of the time when the ideology of treatment and education for children with special educational needs was moving firmly from isolation to integration.
The school was designed in 1925 by J R Stewart, who was County Architect for Lanarkshire at the time, and opened on 10th May 1926.
List description updated following review 2012.