Last drinks have been called as plans have been approved to transform a heritage-listed pub in inner-city Melbourne into a community school.
Fitzroy Community School bought the Dan O’Connell Hotel at 223-227 Canning Street, Carlton last year for $3.6 million to expand its school footprint.
Richard Stampton Architects have prepared plans for a $2.3-million redevelopment of the 1884 Gothic pub to turn it into a school for up to 85 students and 10 teaching staff.
The project was unanimously approved at the City of Melbourne’s Future Melbourne meeting earlier this week.
City of Melbourne deputy lord mayor Nicholas Reece said the conversion of an old Irish pub into an educational facility was a community benefit.
“As someone who has enjoyed a green ale at this pub, there is some sadness in its closure as a pub, but if there’s any use that’s going to deliver benefit to the community, it’s education,” Reece said.
“To have this new facility offering education to kids in our community ... it’s really a good outcome and perfectly permissible.”
Reece acknowledged greater traffic management needed to be undertaken to accommodate the school community using the busy road and “one of the city’s busiest bikeways”.
The former St Patrick’s Day hot spot will be internally reconfigured to create classrooms and a music room for Fitzroy Community School’s newest campus, most likely to be called ‘The Dan’, with students expected to move into the building for the 2023 school year.
It will also include a modern extension to delineate between the old and the new, despite misgivings from the council’s heritage officer.
The school will accommodate students from prep to Year 8, as well as a caretaker’s house, which will be occupied by a supervisor of the education centre.
The partial demolition at the rear and north-west of newer additions to the hotel and a portion of the facade has been approved by the council, while existing glazing will be replaced with double glazing.
The addition to the north-west corner of the site will be a double-storey structure connected to the hotel by a translucent glass wall. The works also include the installation of solar panels, which will be hidden from the street by the Gothic parapets.