Education Permanent Secretary Dr Mark Browne has cut the first sod to officially mark the beginning of construction works at New-Bridge Integrated College, Loughbrickland.
The investment of £27million from the Fresh Start Programme, will provide a new school to accommodate 620 pupils.
Speaking at the event Dr Browne said:
“Today is an important development at New-Bridge Integrated College, as work officially gets underway on new school accommodation.
“When completed, young people will have the opportunity to grow and learn in a modern, fit-for-purpose facility and this new building will create a better environment for all to flourish.
“The fantastic new facilities will also mean our teachers can get on with what they do best and inspire the next generation.”
The scheme was first announced as a project to receive funding from the Fresh Start Programme in March 2016.
Dr Browne concluded:
“Schools are the hub of any community, and this investment will have a major impact on the wider local area by promoting good relations and creating positive outcomes for many years to come.
“I would like to thank everyone involved in this project for their hard work and commitment in getting it to this stage.”
Principal of New-Bridge Integrated College Anne Anderson said:
“This new build signifies another chapter in our school’s history and an important development for Integrated education in Northern Ireland.
“The need for a new school for New-Bridge has been top of the agenda for the school for many years. Finally, this thriving school will get the state-of-the-art new buildings deserved by our dedicated pupils and staff and the entire community will benefit immensely from this new, modern, energy efficient school building.”
Construction on the site began in January 2023 and is due to be completed in summer 2025.
Notes to editors:
1. AECOM are the Integrated Consultant Team on the project. Ganson UK Ltd were appointed to carry out the construction works.
2. The Fresh Start funding forms part of the UK Government's commitment, as part of the Fresh Start and Stormont House agreements, to deliver up to £500m of new capital funding over 10 years to support shared and integrated education.
3. Follow us on Twitter @Education_ni
4. Media enquiries to the Department of Education Press Office at Press.Office@education-ni.gov.uk.
5. The Executive Information Service operates an out-of-hours service For Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.