A BUILDING at the centre of a village controversy is to hold its final event.

Kirkheaton Old School was recently at the centre of a storm over plans to use it as a temporary night centre for failed asylum seekers.

The crumbling building in School Lane, owned by the adjacent Kirkheaton Parish Church, has been unused for several years.

The church plans to develop the site for housing.

With the asylum refuge plan abandoned, the old school is now set to host its final event – a reunion and celebration for all who used to go to school there.

Kirkheaton Parish Church Rector, the Rev Richard Steel, said: “The school has played an important part in the lives of many people in the village and we wanted to have a proper celebration to mark this.

“Many people have very happy memories of their times there.

“We want to gather stories and photos to be recorded in some way so that all the history is not lost.”

Organiser, Maureen Foster (nee Shaw), who attended the school from 1960-1965 along with her two sisters and two brothers, said: “Come and share your memories and bring along other family members who also attended.

“We also want your school photos.

“We hope a lot of people will attend. We are planning a great night.”

The school was originally Kirkheaton Free Grammar School, founded some time between 1588 and 1610 by the then Rector, the Rev Alexander Stocke, who left money in his will to maintain it.

One of the first trustees was Sir Richard Beaumont (‘Black Dick’).

The original building was replaced in 1845 when the National School was opened.

It remained in operation until 1982, when this and the other Church of England School in the village were closed and all pupils transferred to the new primary school.

Since 1982 the school has been returned to the church and used for a variety of groups and events.

The site is due to be developed as part of Kirkheaton Parish Church’s plans to provide more modern facilities for the community in an extension to the church.

The reunion will take place on Friday, September 30 from 7-11pm.

All those who attended the school are invited.

Anyone wishing to attend the reunion should e-mail shawfos9@gmail.com or phone Linda Barraclough at Kirkheaton Church Parish Office.

Telephone 01484 531449.