The doors of Inverness Royal Academy closed for the last time yesterday as the summer holidays got underway.
Photographer Paul Campbell was among the former pupils of IRA who returned for a final look this week before the bulldozers move in.
He captured atmospheric images for posterity, as the old building is set to be replaced by a new complex for the start of the next academic year in August.
Mr Campbell, 49, left IRC in 1984. He said: “It felt a little bit odd at first as various memories came back about my times there. I always remember the long, dark corridors. I bumped into various ex-pupils who had mixed feelings, some who said they’d never set foot back in the place but were happy to see it one more time.
“It hadn’t really changed other than looking very tired and run down. The ‘huts’ were still there, they were never meant to be permanent as I believe there was to be a second phase, which included a swimming pool, alas it never came. It’s a shame that the building has only lasted less than 40 years, considering the old Academy building is sill in much better shape.
“It was nice to see a couple of old teachers, Deirdre MacLennan who taught history and Gordon Harvey who was a very popular art teacher. He taught me how to develop film and photographs, his words ‘It must be pin sharp’ I can still hear to this day.”
Work started on the new school in August 2014 and when it opens it will accommodate up to 1,420 pupils. This takes account of the growth in the role due to house building in the area and the projected increase in the uptake of Gaelic medium education.
The £34million development is part of Highland Council’s modern schools building programme.
The old building will be demolished to make way for new sports facilities for the school and community.
But after a number of requests, it was agreed that an open evening for former pupils and staff could take place to give them one final look.
Inverness Royal Academy was founded in 1792, when it replaced the town Grammar School.
In 1793 a Royal Charter was obtained from King George III and, as Inverness Royal Academy, the school operated on Academy Street until 1895, when it moved to Midmills Road in the Crown area.
In August 1979 the school moved fully to the current site.