£10m school builds to start

John O'Dowd MLA. INLM4710-629con
John O'Dowd MLA. INLM4710-629con
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Building work is set to start this year on two primary schools in Lurgan - at a combined spend of £10 million.

Education Minister John O’Dowd said work is due to begin at Tannaghmore Primary School within the next few months while work at St Theresa’s will begin during the coming financial year.

The Education Department said both are complete new builds with a combined level of investment of around £10m. The spend for Tannaghmore is around £6m and £4m for St Theresa’s, however the department said the costs are estimates and subject to change.

“Tannaghmore is on the existing site while St Theresa’s is on an extended version of the existing site,” said a Department spokesperson.

Mr O’Dowd said: “This investment is good news for school staff and communities and will also help support the local construction industry. Above all, however, it is good news for the children and young people in our education system, who will benefit from improvements to their learning environment. I realise that there is much work still to be done and that challenges will remain; however, I understand the importance of a modern learning environment and will maintain a focus on maximising the capital resources available to me.”

Mr Aiden F McVey, Principal of Tannaghmore said everyone at with Tannaghmore is delighted. “Looking at preliminary plans for our new school, the contrast is very clear between what is planned for the future and what staff and pupils have endured by way of serious sub-standard accommodation. With a proposed drop off/collection area within the actual site of the new school and well removed from the main road, we will be better placed to manage the safety of all our pupils.

“As principal, I am delighted with the news and excited and challenged at the prospect of working in a new purpose built environment.

Principal of St Teresa’s PS, Mrs Ann Doran welcomed the news: “Since June 2012 we have been working towards building a new state of the art school for the current and future pupils of St Teresa’s Primary School. We anticipate that preparation work will begin during the summer term 2014 wth building work to commence during the summer months.”