THE Bendigo East State School could be transformed into offices for a new warehouse and showroom during a $1 million build.
Developers have lodged plans for the idle 105-year-old building with the City of Greater Bendigo.
"We believe the proposed works will not impact on the heritage significance of the building," their planning consultants have told town planners.
Developers would keep the school's exterior the same, except for a weatherboard lean-to at the building's rear, which they say is not original.
A new lean-to would be built to better show off more of the school's brickwork and other original features.
The most noticeable change would be a new building facing Murphy Street, developers have told planners.
It would include a glass showroom and red-brick warehouse.
A 31 space car park would surround the buildings and an extra storage shed would be installed on the other side of the lot.
The original school would still be visible from both Murphy Street and Strickland Road, developers say.
The project would cost $995,000, developers estimate, and would be on one of six lots subdivided on land surrounding the site.
The other lots would also cater to businesses looking for space.
The school was originally built in 1915 as workers and their families flocked to the area to service a new railway workshops, a freezing works, a crushing plant and demand on nearby farmland.
It could fit 150 students into two classrooms and was active until the 1990s when the Kennett government began closing schools.
East Bendigo State School students merged with those at White Hills Secondary College in 1999, which changed its name to Weeroona College
The building has often sat idle since then.
Bendigo's council considers it historically significant but Heritage Victoria refused to add it to the state's register in 2016.
"The East Bendigo Primary School building is architecturally unremarkable and of a less distinctive design when compared with school buildings constructed in a similar period in the Victorian Heritage Register," the author of Heritage Victoria's 2015 report stated.
Nevertheless, the Heritage Council acknowledged the building had withstood the ravages of time.
"The school building is reasonably intact and retains its main features including the sign over the front entrance," the group's heritage assessor noted.