O’Dowd cuts the sod at £1.18million project at Donard School

Date published: 22 January 2016

Education Minister John O’Dowd today visited Donard School, Banbridge to mark commencement of work following £1.18million investment under the School Enhancement Programme.

During the visit the Minister met with staff and pupils of the school and also carried out a sod cutting to mark the occasion.

The Minister said:

“It is a pleasure to be here today to officially mark commencement of work at the school. This project will see £1.18million investment which will provide a permanent four-classroom extension to replace the temporary accommodation currently in use. This new accommodation will provide a better layout and an improved working environment for the staff and pupils of the school which will have a positive impact for many years to come.

“Ongoing investment in our schools estate is essential if we are to continue to provide a quality education. The School Enhancement Programme is an important way of providing much needed work to our schools estate and I am confident that this investment will help in the drive to improve educational standards.”

The School Enhancement Programme (SEP) was announced in 2013 for projects up to £4million. The programme is targeted to meet the immediate and pressing needs of schools through smaller scale works, where a new build is not deemed deliverable.

Concluding the Minister said:

“I always enjoy visiting schools and meeting with staff and pupils. It is particularly enjoyable when I am highlighting investment that not only has an impact on the lives of those connected with the school but also provides a boost to the local construction industry.

“I am delighted that I could be here today to celebrate this occasion with the school and I wish everyone well for the future.”

Principal Edel Lavery said:

“I am delighted that Donard Special School is benefitting from this funding. The new provision will allow for four classes and we are looking forward to having a school canteen where all pupils can come together."

Notes to editors: 

  1. 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
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  3. 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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