16/12/2009

Magherafelt School Gets Green Light

Northern Ireland Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane, has given the go ahead for a new, £9m Magherafelt High School.

"It is essential that while I am implementing reforms to raise educational standards we are providing the highest quality accommodation for our young people," said the Minister, (pictured).

"The closure of Maghera High School and the transfer of the pupils to Magherafelt High School has presented some accommodation difficulties and against this background I am now pleased that this new school can go ahead.

"The first phase of the new Magherafelt High School will accommodate 500 pupils in first-class buildings and I would hope the construction can begin early next year for completion within two years."

She continued: "To ensure all proposals for capital funding are consistent with our policy framework and are sustainable for the long term I had commissioned a review of the programme. Magherafelt High School has passed this review and I look forward to visiting the new school when completed."

Ulster Unionist Assembly Member, Billy Armstrong has welcomed the long awaited announcement by the Education Minister of the confirmation that a new build will take place for Magherafelt High School

"At last we receive the confirmation that the new school is to be built for Magherafelt High School.

"This very welcomed announcement has been a long time coming," he said.

"The parents and students of Magherafelt High School will be pleased that they will receive their promised school.

"It is just unfortunate that many of those students will not experience the new build as the estimated completion date is two years awaym" noting this is also good news for a local contractor, Herron Bros, creating much need jobs in the area, and providing a boost of good news for Christmas.

"The new school for Magherafelt High is an issue that I have been lobbying the Education Minister for a considerable amount of time and I am pleased that eventually she has seen sense and finally made a decision that will help the children of the Magherafelt area.

"I will continue to lobby the Education Minister for other new builds for Magherafelt on behalf of the students and parents of all the children in the Magherafelt area."

(NS/BMcc)

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