After 107 years educating Fulham children, last July saw the school gates at Peterborough Primary School close forever.
While pupils at the new fee-paying ecole for French speaking pupils - based at the Clancarty Road site - received a fanfare welcome by the Tory council to start term, memories of the demise of the popular state school are raw.
"It sounds silly but I still well-up when I pass by Peterborough," says Christine Ford, whose eight-year-old George was a pupil at the school. "It has been such an important part of my life and community. The closure has meant upheaval for George - he really misses it. I just hope it doesn't damage his schooling."
Like many who packed the playground for an emotional final day party, Christine was also a pupil at Peterborough. She is still baffled as to why a state primary was closed only to re-open as a private school.
And the questions have refused to go away. "Why is this borough promoting the opening of a private school for French pupils when that has nothing remotely to do with its role as a provider of free state education? It's bewildering," says Dennis Charman, secretary of the local National Union of Teachers branch.
Town Hall chiefs say the die was cast for Peterborough by dwindling enrolment numbers (143 pupils) which made it the least well subscribed of the borough's three community schools.
It compounded a sequence of poor results which saw the school struggle until the last academic year of its existence. "Accepted," says Mr Charman. "But thanks to a lot of hard work the school turned around and was about to report terrific year 11 SATs results. Pupil numbers were also up. At the very least this is a very curious engagement of local authority powers over the future of a school."
Four per cent of Hammersmith and Fulham's youngsters are French speakers, says the Tory council, justifying its lease of the building to the French government, which is paying for the school.
Until now, Fulham's French contingent, many from the diplomatic corps, was forced to travel across the borough boundary to the ecole in Cromwell Road in search of bilingual tuition.
But there's a pay-off for H&F too, says the council.
When the plans first surfaced in 2007 council leader Stephen Greenhalgh said there was "tremendous political will to partner the French government" in an initiative which would see a bi-lingual primary and secondary school in the borough."
The broader aim is to boost the language skills on offer in the borough in all schools, by drawing on the expertise of the ecole's staff.
Council blurb says teachers at the ecole will "assist local primary schools who are now required to teach a modern foreign language and offer local children bilingual places in the state system in the future".
The details of how this will be achieved are yet to be published but the council says an agreement is in place with French government to hammer out concrete plans.
There are also residual questions over why the council failed to squeeze the most from the asset of the school building - it agreed an annual lease of £200,000, £83,000 below market value according to a town hall legal adviser.
The council says the income will be poured into servicing debts.
Critics of the scheme are unmoved. "If I was to speculate I think this feels like an effort to gentrify the area with private schools for wealthy parents - who may be only in the borough temporarily. We have no idea what benefits will come to
Fulham's state schools," says the NUT's Mr Charman.
The man responsible for dissolving the school was Cllr Anthony Lillis, cabinet member for community and children's services.
He insists the decision was taken because of low pupil numbers, turning a vacant building into another school which "will benefit the people of Hammersmith & Fulham in the long run".
But his words will not wash with many parents who faced a frantic race to find new places for their children. "It's upsetting for everyone who loved Peterborough," says Christine Ford. "But it also makes me angry. Why did we have to take our kids out so the council could put French-speaking kids in? It's as if they don't want us in the area."