In a letter to the Chief Executive, Angela Scott, Mr McDonald has called into question the council’s decision to sell the historic property - built in 1834 - as the extensive cost for repairs to the roof of the building have so far prevented the community from being able to take on the lease.
“The hall is a part of the city’s heritage - built in 1834, it was the Woodside community’s first ever school. It has since played a prominent role in the local area and until it was closed, regularly hosted a range of local groups, classes and organisations.
“As the local MSP, the community have made strong representations to me citing a number of local groups who have an interest in making use of the building if it was repaired and brought up to a usable standard.
“There are grants available for restoration of historic community buildings, and it may be that some initial support is needed for an appropriate community group to be brought together to take on the running of the hall. These are not insurmountable challenges, and the community must be given every opportunity and support to explore all options.
“Given that Woodside is a regeneration area, I think it is even more vital for the council to explore all avenues, including the possibility of community asset transfer to ensure that a valuable local resource can be retained and put to good use by the residents of Woodside.
“There is a genuine concern that the building may be lost to the community if it is sold to a private owner, who may prefer to redevelop the site, rather than revitalise the hall for the benefit of the residents of Woodside.”