Uncertainty surrounds the future of Uplands Middle School in Sudbury after the charity looking to take over the site pulled out.
The Befriending Scheme had been heading a group of three town charities interested in finding a community use for the building in York Road but, due to time pressures, has withdrawn.
Shirley Moore, chief executive of the charity based in Gainsborough Street, said the group had not had enough time to work up a viable business plan, after being given a deadline of November by the site’s owners, Suffolk County Council.
“Out trustees wanted between 12 to 18 months to put together a plan,” she said.
“The council was impressed with our commitment and vision, but regrettably did not extend the deadline. It was unrealistic to get everything done, as the school is huge and the cost of maintenance could have been a burden.”
It emerged in September that the charity, along with The Bridge Project and the Stour Valley Vineyard Church, had been seeking to take on a lease of the redundant building until August 2014.
On Thursday, it was told the deadline for plans would not be extended.
“We were happy to be the lead provider and wanted to create a community project,” said Mrs Moore.
“It is a real shame it has not worked out as we took it very seriously.”