Plans have been unveiled for a new state-of-the-art £27m suite of school buildings for St Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon.
The project is being funded by the Department of Education following an announcement in January 2013 when St Patrick’s Academy was included on the Minister’s capital programme.
Invited guests with ongoing interests in St Patrick’s Academy attended an information evening at the school to officially launch the two year build project which represents one of the Department of Education’s largest schemes in its current Capital Expenditure Programme.
St Patrick’s Academy Principal, Fintan Donnelly described the official launch of the project as a huge milestone in the history of St Patrick’s, coming as it does on the 40th anniversary of the school’s move to its current location at 37 Killymeal Road, Dungannon.
“The new school buildings will enable us to provide the very latest facilities for our pupils as well as creating a solid platform for us to further build on our current position at the heart of the educational, cultural and religious life of Tyrone.
“This is a landmark scheme that will benefit the lives of thousands of pupils, their families and the community at large,” said Mr Donnelly.
Those attending the event had an opportunity to view a number of 3D photo realistic images and plans of the new school.
Martin Hare from project architects McAdam Design explained the rationale behind the design of the buildings whilst project manager James McAfee from EC Harris addressed the programming and phasing of the works.
Speaking to invited guests Martin Hare said: “It has been a long road travelled starting with St Patrick’s College and the overall site redevelopment within which the new Academy will form the final crucial element. Over the last few years the unwavering support of the Trustees, Teachers and Parish have been instrumental in shaping the final designs and it has been a pleasure to work alongside so many dedicated individuals.”
James McAfee from EC Harris said: “The completion of the new St Patrick’s Academy will be the final piece in the jigsaw and will complete this ‘state of the art’ education campus in Dungannon. The project will also deliver a considerable improvement in the current traffic congestion for both schools and the wider community. Local job creation during construction, enhanced sports facilities, energy efficient and environmentally friendly buildings, and an end to teaching in temporary accommodation make this a win-win project on many fronts.”
Representatives from the Department of Education, the Board of Governors, the School Trustees as well as the local community were also in attendance.
Work is expected to get underway on the new school this autumn with the Academy’s pupils due to move to the new buildings in September 2017.
Mr Donnelly said St Patrick’s Academy is committed to working with its wide range of stakeholders to ensure the two year project is delivered with the minimum impact on pupils, parents, staff and its neighbours.
He added: “The new buildings will be constructed on a stand-alone site and the move will be en-masse. There will therefore be no disruption to the school pupils or timetable.”