Plans for new school at Rowandale progress

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Plans are progressing on the new build at Rowandale Integrated Primary School in Moira following a successful community consultation with the design team.

Parents, pupils and members of the local community gathered at the school to hear of the exciting new plans for the new build following the announcement of funding last year by the Chancellor Philip Hammond for the Integrated Education sector in Northern Ireland.

Speaking at the event, School Principal, Frances Hughes explained: “Plans are progressing well with the new build on the current school site in Moira, which will see the school extend to become a 14 classroom building to accommodate the yearly increase in pupil numbers.

“We are very excited about this investment at the school which will have a positive impact on pupils, teachers and school staff now and for generations to come.”

The classrooms for the new school are situated along a curve, with a progression from P1 to P7.

Four separate entrances give the children access to the classrooms via external soft play areas.

A separate building, linked by a corridor and with its own main entrance, will offer a dining and sports hall, as well as a library and utility rooms.

The hall will be available for community events and bespoke changing rooms are provided so local sports teams can make use of exterior hard and soft play areas.

The design also seeks to ease traffic congestion by providing a two-lane drop-off/pick-up facility, along with an additional 40 parking spaces for staff.

The building will also adhere to BREEAM requirements for energy conservation and sustainability.

Project Architect Graeme Ogle, Partner at Hamilton Architects, added: “The practice is delighted to be delivering this exciting new scheme for Rowandale and Moira.

“Completion of this project will guarantee state-of-the-art facilities for pupils and teachers which will take them well into the 21st century.”

The former Chancellor, Philip Hammond in November 2018 confirmed that Rowandale would receive government funding, not simply to replace their current temporary accommodation but to provide a brand-new, 14-classroom school. The commitment is part of a £300 million capital investment in integrated and shared education in Northern Ireland announced in his autumn budget statement.

Rowandale IPS opened on the site of a farm on the outskirts of Moira in 2007 with just 18 children. It is one of the fastest- growing schools in Northern Ireland, and is the only integrated primary school serving the wider Moira area. Its reputation for excellence means that every year it has needed a new classroom to meet demand from parents. By 2021 it will become a 14 classroom school with almost 400 children attending.