Education Minister marks the start of site work on a new £20.7m school for Parkhall Integrated College in Antrim

Date published: 15 December 2015

Education Minister John O’Dowd has joined teachers and pupils at Parkhall Integrated College in Antrim to celebrate the beginning of site works on a £20.7m new school build project.

The project, funded through the Department of Education’s Capital build programme, will see pupils being educated in a new purpose built two storey school on a single site at Steeple Road.  The completed work will also include two football and one rugby pitch on the site of the existing Parkhall (Steeple Road site) school, as well as a new synthetic pitch and five new tennis courts

Minister O’Dowd met with teachers and pupils before joining them on site to cut the first sod.  Speaking during his visit, Minister O’Dowd said:

“I am delighted to be at Parkhall Integrated College on what is a very exciting day for all of its pupils and staff.  This significant £20.7m investment will allow the College to move from its current spilt site arrangement to a brand new purpose built school that will welcome pupils through its doors from September 2017.

This is a significant investment and one which will not only bring benefits to the school and its pupils, but will be a boost to the local community and businesses.  I commend the partnership working already evident between Parkhall, the Education Authority and the contractor and I wish you well in taking the project forward.”

Welcoming Minister O'Dowd to Parkhall, Principal George Beattie said:

  "I am very happy to welcome the Minister today to join with us in celebrating the beginning of our new school build and to thank him and his Department for this considerable investment. This fantastic state of the art facility is another step forwards towards realising our vision of providing high quality education for all the young people within the Borough of Antrim and beyond, irrespective of ability, race, religion or social background.

I wish to pay tribute to the large number of people who have supported this project, to the staff, both teaching and support, who have operated so successfully on a split site over the past ten years and to the parents and pupils who have continued to support the College throughout this period.  We look forward with great enthusiasm to beginning a new chapter of the future of the school  from September 2017!"

Contractor O’Hare and McGovern has been appointed to carry out the work, which is expected to be completed by 2018.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The new build for Parkhall was announced in your capital announcement to the Assembly in Janauary 2013.   The business case was approved by DFP for £20.7m in May 2014.  
  2. Parkhall Integrated College is a controlled integrated school covering Years 8 -12.  The new school is being constructed for 735 pupils.
  3. The Department of Education’s ‘Education Works’ campaign promotes the value of education. This year’s campaign aims to ensure that parents have information on schooling and that they are aware of the steps they can take to ‘Get Involved’ and support their teenager in achieving good outcomes at school. Watch out for the ads on television, radio and outdoor locations. The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visit nidirect/education-works for more information or watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel.
  4. See photos from the Department of Education in our collection on Flickr
  5. Media enquiries to the Department of Education Press Office Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours, contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 99 715 440, and your call will be returned.

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