New Uses for Redundant School Rooms

I wonder if any of you have come across this problem in your own Communes?
Our school has been merged with others and we have now a problem of what to do with the empty classrooms.
How can we make the best use of them?
Have any of you have had this problem in your Commune and what have you decided to do?
We are a very small Commune of about 260 souls.

I know of one small village where the whole school building found a new lease of life. The teacher’s accommodation was rented by a “potter” to live in and use as workshop/showroom/salespoint.

Classrooms were rented by local gifted folk, painters, weavers… etc

It became a lively point of contact and is an asset to that village.

that was a few years ago, but I believe it is still doing well.

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We have the added problem that there are three apartments above the school rooms, so we have to be careful of noise etc.

perhaps in that case, the old school rooms can be converted to provide social housing for the commune?
The rooms above our Mairie have been so converted and are in great demand by young families in a rural community.

Might work… if there are already folk “upstairs” … why not folk downstairs as well.
Extra soundproofing between up and down… would probably be a good idea.
Although, presumably there wasn’t conflict between school and tenants in the past… ???

We already have three apartments above the classrooms and we were looking at use for the Commune in general, cafe etc.
There is already an association that helps with this.

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did folk in the apartments have problems with noise from the school… (and vice versa ???)
our school kids are a lovely, boisterous, noisy lot… and the folk upstairs have a dog which barks a lot… but no-one complains.

Ah… Jane… I see what you mean. Bring folk into the village, have a centre for folk to gather… sounds a good idea.

The problem is noise after normal working hours.
This could be a solution, but doesn’t give the Commune any extra social space, as our Salle is huge and we were looking to use these rooms for smaller functions.

The main problem is that there are several villages with exactly the same problem as ourselves following the consoldiation of schools and we are very small.

Oh dear, it’s not going to be easy to please everyone.

In my experience, anything used for social/functions will create noise and more often than not… that noise will be after normal working hours.

Perhaps you could stipulate and firmly stick to… “normal working hours”…
got to be worth a try.
Mind you, bringing the rooms up to the “normes” can prove expensive.

Life is not easy for the smaller villages, but grants are available I believe…
good luck.

Just doing some brainstorming…

If you have a Huge Salle… why not see if it can be divided up somehow. 2 smaller Salles maybe. (1 larger and 1 smaller perhaps… )

The school rooms could be turned into Living Accomodation … and bring in a steady income.

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The next village to us has used an old redundant building as a perpiniere for young people setting up self employed businesses. I can’t remember all the details but each one gets support, access to advice, low rent and the like for a couple of years. It can house 4 at a time and because of where we are they are largely setting up various wood/design type businesses.

Has been running around 7 or 8 years now.

I think was quite complex to set up as needed support from wide range of bodies. The commune itself is tiny so no funds to do it alone.

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Adult education / hobby classes such as sewing, crochet, painting, language learning etc

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These are already covered by the Foyer Rural.

Yes, these rooms have very high ceilings and will be costly to heat for an individual.
Possibly it would be better of The Mairie took over the school and we could use the much more modern Mairie for other things.
We are hampered by the poor broadband speed at present, supposedly fibre will arrive in 2023.

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