The project is part of the School Enhancement Programme which was announced by the Minister in 2013 and includes refurbishment or extension projects, each valued between £500,000 and £4million
The construction works at Friends’ include new accommodation for the Music, Maths and History Departments and involves the replacement of the Harding House Building.
Speaking as he visited the school where he met pupils and staff, the Minister said:
“This is an exciting time for pupils and staff at Friends’ School. The new facilities will enhance the learning environment and ensure that the school is equipped to deliver the curriculum well into the future.
The School Enhancement Programme was established to ensure that we provide the best possible school buildings for pupils and staff. As well as benefitting the classroom, it also provides a boost to the local construction industry.”
Concluding, Minister O’Dowd said:
“Improving the schools’ estate is a key priority for me and I will continue to seek additional funds to ensure that this important area of works continues to get the attention it deserves.”
Welcoming the Minister to the school and the start of the construction work, School Principal Elizabeth Dickson said:
“I’m delighted that the Minister is visiting Friends’ and that work on the School Enhancement Project is going ahead. Taken in conjunction with building work currently taking place to provide new multi-purpose teaching spaces in Middle House and alongside the investment Governors have made in the last three years to provide top class sports pitches, this project, when completed, will give us excellent facilities right across the curriculum and enable us to continue to meet the needs of our pupils in the years ahead.”
Notes to editors:
- Friends’ is a Voluntary Grammar School with an enrolment of 983 pupils.
- The works contract has been awarded to McAleer and Teague.
- 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.
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