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SCENTS AND SENSITIVITY; SNIFFER DOG GIVES ART SCHOOL ALL-CLEARGutted building is smelling like itself again as a painstaking restoration gathers pace.

Byline: Craig McDonald

The director of Glasgow's famous art school has told how the painstaking renovation is gaining momentum as the smell of the devastating fire finally leaves the building.

Tom Inns said he was happy the worldacclaimed building, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, was being carefully put back together almost nine months after it was ravaged by fire.

The project has also seen golden labrador Sam, a specialist sniffer dog, on site to help archaeologists detect rot or fungi - and he has given it the all-clear as structurally sound.

Professor Inns said an important section nicknamed the Hen Run has been saved, following fears it had been damaged beyond repair.

Pictures taken last week show work being carried out to stabilise parts of the building damaged by the blaze in May.

Inns yesterday revealed he and school chairwoman Muriel Gray agreed the building's normal smell was finally returning.

He said: "It's hard to believe that it's nearly nine months since the fire but in that time we've been incredibly busy.

"We've made sure the building is wind and water tight and have done a major archaeological survey of the library.

"We've also had a very special expert come in and check out the damp - Sam the rot-hound - and are now doing stabilising work.

"What's very special is that, as Muriel Gray recently commented, the Mack is starting to get its own smell back.

"The coming months will be exciting as we appoint our lead architects and work with them, Historic Scotland and other partners to put together the detailed restoration plan."

THEN The fire."" Art school spokeswoman Lesley Booth a" Art school spokeswoman Lesley Booth also revealed how their own digital design students were helping with the reconstruction by taking 3D scans of the building.

right, in May right, in May caused huge damage to the school's library She echoed Inns's comments about the building's character, saying: "You go in now and the smell of the fire is pretty much gone.

"The building had this "The building had this very particular aroma of old wood and generations of painting and so on - and that's coming back.

"The beauty of the "The beauty of the brickwork and stonework is still there. It's almost like the building is saying, 'I am still here' and that's a great feeling for us.

"Our expertise in our digital design studio 3D scanned the west gable, which was affected by the fire, and marked up every stone in a 3D scan.

"That stone is now at Historic Scotland's depot in Stirling and, when we come to rebuild the gable, the 3D scan will be fundamental in reconstructing what was there before.

"We're using cutting edge technology and skilled craftsmen and women."

When the west wing of the school was added at the start of the 20th century, designers linked the two buildings with the glazed corridor known as the Hen Run. It was feared the structure had been ruined but engineers have confirmed it's safe.

century, designers linked the two buildings with the glazed corridor known as the Hen Run. It was feared the structure had been ruined but engineers have confirmed it's safe.

Booth added: "It's an iconic part of the building. We've found that, structurally, it is sound and that's a great boost.

"The professors' studio is very badly damaged - the main walls have gone-butis not destroyed and stabilisation work "The professors' studio is very badly damaged - the main walls have gone-butis not destroyed and stabilisation work is ongoing there. The studio and the library were the worst damaged.

is ongoing there. The studio and the library were the worst damaged.

"We brought in forensic archaeologists to sift through the library. Everything has been documented and taken out of the building.

"We brought in forensic archaeologists to sift through the library. Everything has been documented and taken out of the building.

"Specialist stonemasons have been in and removed stonework from around the windows. These have been numbered so that anything which can go back will go back in exactly the same spot."

"Specialist stonemasons have been in and removed stonework from around the windows. These have been numbered so that anything which can go back will go back in exactly the same spot."

" It's expected a design team will be" It's expected a design team will be appointed next monthandthework will cost in the region of PS35million

appointed next monthandthework will cost in the region of PS35million.

Building work will begin next year, with the Mackintosh back in operation for the 2017-18 academic year.

Building work will begin next year, with the Mackintosh back in operation for the 2017-18 academic year.

Painting and printmaking students, who would have been studying in the fire-hit section, have been relocated to the Tontine building in the city's Trongate.

Booth added: "Around 150 students out of a total of more than 2000 are displaced as a result of the fire."

Booth added: "Around 150 students out of a total of more than 2000 are displaced as a result of the fire."

We've had a special expert, Sam the rot-hound, come in to check out the damp

CAPTION(S):

THEN The fire, right, in May caused huge damage to the school's library

NOSE WORRI RRIES Sniffer dog Sam checked out the damp at school

NOW Builders renovate the Glasgow School of Art library last week
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 15, 2015
Words:897
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