IT is a building steeped in history with happy memories of students celebrating their graduation and embarking on their teaching careers.

For 90 years thousands of teaching students passed through the magnificent grand entrance of the David Stow building on the grounds of what began life as the Jordanhill College campus after passing their final year exams.

About to embark on a new life their college days were over. However, a part of their student journey has been marked as a moment in time.

While it might not resemble the glorious days of the past, the graduation hall in the David Stow building remains untouched.

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The Herald was given exclusive access to the building and a final look around before works gets under way to develop it into flats.

Velvet drapes still adorn the stage where students would have walked towards the lectern to accept their degrees. Families would have been looking on proudly from the gallery as their sons and daughters accepted their scrolls.


Graduation hall holds many happy memories

While the lecturers and staff may have left the building, the memories will live with them forever as this splendid B listed building is about to be transformed into highly sought-after apartments.

Set in the grounds of Jordanhill park, once a country estate owned by city tobacco lords, the David Stow building, named after the educational pioneer, is to be developed into 64 apartments. The entire development will site 406 homes, a decision which has received its fair share of criticism from the local community.

From reading rooms, to the graduation hall and principle’s office, a number of items of memorabilia were left behind when the building was handed over to Cala Homes West for the multi-million pound development. Already some people have moved into the new build town houses on the 31 acre site, but the focal point of the development, the David Stow building, is beginning its transformation.

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Latterly the building was part of the University of Strathclyde’s Jordanhill campus. Constructed from Dumfries stone, the David Stow building was the main teacher training college building at Jordanhill Campus which saw its first students arrive in 1921. Among its well-known former sutdents are ex-Scotland football manager Craig Brown and Gaelic writer Tormod Caimbeul.


Project begins to take shape at David Stow building

Project director David Sutherland says it has been a voyage of discovery while leading a heritage build project.

For the local boy, leading the flagship project is somewhat of a homecoming for Mr Sutherland. While he has been in the construction industry for more than 20 years, his project have seen him based in Edinburgh, London, Nottingham and recently Dumbarton where he was involved in a heritage build at the West Dunbartonshire Council HQ.

“It is a massive privilege for me to lead this project,” said Mr Sutherland. “There are so many memoires here for former staff and students and there is so much history behind it. The building was vacated in 2012 and handed over to us. The university did a great job in clearing the site, but we did open up some rooms which seemed to be locked in time. There was some old blazers, text books and materials left behind. Even some blackboards and chairs.

“Embarking on a heritage build like this is very much a journey of discovery or rediscovery if you like. You never quite know what you might find or discover. When we scraped away at the paint on corridor walls we discovered original tiling behind which is such a Glasgow feature. So now we have someone going round every corridor on the first and second floors to see what they can find.”

In a former reading room a magnificent orange coloured dome is one feature which is to be preserved along with a stunning centre piece light. With faded wallpaper and a stack of old chairs and light fittings, which architectural salvage hunters would have a field day with, it is a part of history which will remain.

“Part of the planning conditions for the build was that the reading room dome was to be preserved,” added Mr Sutherland. “So there really isn’t a lot we can do with it. We are looking at creating a bespoke storage area but other than that it is very limited.”

While some buildings were demolished to allow site work to begin, the Graham and Douglas accommodation buildings have been retained. As the current custodians of the building until homeowners take up residence for the building to begin the next chapter in its history, there are some stipulations which must be met.

Three artefacts have been discovered which reflects the building and grounds rich history. There is also a tree which has been preserved on the grounds. A sycamore tree is believed to be around 150 years old. And while some trees have been taken down during site work, 400 new trees will be planted throughout the grounds.

Mr Sutherland added: “We made some very important discoveries which will be retained on site the coat of arms, a sun dial and an obelisk. They will all have a home in the new Jordanhill Park.”