Over £780,000 spent on school improvements

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OVER £780,000 has been invested in Lurgan schools from the Department of Education’s Minor Works programme between January and March of this year.

Work carried out under the minor works scheme ranges from minor repairs to more significant refurbishment projects and extensions.

Education Minister John O’Dowd said: “Ongoing investment in the schools estate is having a positive impact on pupils, teachers and school staff and provides a much needed boost to the construction industry.

“Some 187 minor works contracts totalling over £15.6 million were awarded in the first quarter of this year with approximately £780,000 of this going to schools in Lurgan.”

Work carried out in Lurgan schools includes provision of additional accommodation at St Francis’ Primary School, a synthetic hockey pitch at Lurgan College and provision of a traffic management scheme at King’s Park Primary

School.

The Minister said: “Over the past year I have announced that 40 new school building projects are to proceed representing a potential investment of some £353 million. These major projects obviously generate a significant amount of interest and have a positive impact not only on those individual school communities but also on the local economy.

“However, in addition to these more high profile projects, it is important to note that there continues to be investment in the schools estate on an ongoing basis.”

The Minister also recently announced a further £10 million next year to help address the maintenance backlog in schools. This additional funding brings the overall level of maintenance funding in 2013-14 to £37 million.

He continued: “I am confident that the ongoing substantial investment in the minor works programmes will help in the drive to improve educational standards. It will also provide much needed support to the construction industry at what is a challenging time for local firms.”