Call for new state-of-the-art £38m Lurgan education hub

Craigavon Senior High School, Lurgan.
Craigavon Senior High School, Lurgan.

Local politicians have been urged to back a campaign to build a £38m state of the art educational hub at the Lurgan campus of Craigavon Senior High School.

It follows fears that Lurgan children may be disadavantaged having to travel outside the area and a campaign has been launched to build state-of-the-art facilities.

Campaigners want three separate schools on the one 26 acre campus in Lurgan - a nursery school (50 pupils), an 11-14 Key Stage 3 school (750 pupils) and a 14-16 Key Stage 4 school (240 pupils).

They have called for a new Junior High School accessing Millennium Way, a new state of the art Lurgan SHS accessing Millennium Way, a new Sports and Leisure Hall to compliment the existing two full sized synthetic pitches for schools and community use, new £2m Youth complex replacing the existing Youth Annexe, an athletics track around school grounds and three access points Millennium Way, Mourne Road, Toberhewny Lane.

The campaign strategy aims to ‘Save The Dickson Plan for Senior High Students’ as well as ending the debate about bussing Lurgan children out of Lurgan.

A spokesperson said it would mean Lurgan can ensure the education of its own 1,400+ young people.

“Lurgan can establish an Educational and Sporting Centre in the heart of its own community for school and community use,” the spokesperson stated.

“Lurgan’s controlled sector are entitled to the £38m expenditure required to deliver this project.

“If the Education Authority and Department of Education approve this plan there is no reason why the work cannot commence in 2019 with completion within two years. In the interim, Lurgan Senior High School governing body, staffing and temporary accommodation can be established on the Junior High School site.”

The backers have written to all local MLAs asking them for support. “As an organization, we have carefully researched how the Dickson Plan System of Education can be retained in Lurgan in a way in which all pupils will be treated fairly and equitably,” the spokesperson stated.

“We have a huge 26 acre site, advantageously located in South Lurgan to ensure school and community development and it would be our desire to see this used in a way whereby educational standards can be raised to an acceptable level in Lurgan.

“We need to have an open and honest debate on the matters relating to 1,400 young people and the debate commences with the assertion that all children will be educated in Lurgan.

“This is a matter of urgency as we feel it will negatively impact the south Lurgan community if this single proposal to remove controlled sector KS4 from the town proceeds.