15/09/2010

Parkhall College's Future Discussed

There has been a high level discussion on future construction and development plans for a leading Co Antrim educational facility.

Stormont Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane, has chaired a meeting to discuss construction plans for Parkhall Integrated College in Antrim.

The Minister (pictured) met a group of MLAs from the South Antrim area along with the Principal and Chair of the Board of Governors of Parkhall to discuss future development plans for the school.

Ms Ruane said: "The meeting was held at the request of local MLAs for the area.

"The main thrust of the discussion focussed on future development plans for Parkhall Integrated College within the context of the current financial climate."

The school currently operates on a split site basis at the former Masserene College and Parkhall sites.

Proposals recommending a new build to accommodate over 700 post-primary pupils have been unable to be progressed in this financial year due to budgetary constraints.
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The Minister continued: "Despite accommodation difficulties, Parkhall is a thriving school providing quality education for 11-16 year olds in the Antrim area.

"I will continue to put forward a strong case for greater investment in the schools' estate to enable the school building programme to be progressed," she concluded.

Attending the meeting with the Education Minister were: George Beattie Principal of Parkhall Integrated College, Mitchel McLaughlin, a Sinn Fein MLA for North Antrim, Danny Kinahan, a UUP MLA for South Antrim, Mervyn Alexander, Chair, Board of Governors at Parkhall and Sam Greer, Vice Chair, Board of Governors at Parkhall.

Parkhall Integrated College is a well-established and successful school for 11-16 year olds, with a current enrolment of 708 and has a site at Steeple Road and at Birch Hill, both in Antrim town.

There are currently pupils from 11 different religious denominations attending the school and pupils with 12 different home languages, apart from English. These include Polish, Arabic, Hindi, Cantonese, Slovakian and Indian, amongst others.


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