Major school projects put on hold

Mount Lourdes Grammar School, Enniskillen is one of the schools affected by the 'budget constraints'

Mount Lourdes Grammar School, Enniskillen is one of the schools affected by the ‘budget constraints’

DUE to department budget constraints work at three local post-primary schools due to start this financial year, are to be put on hold.

Work at St Michael’s College, Mount Lourdes Grammar School and Erne Integrated College is to be shelved for this year at least due to ‘budget constraints’.


At St Michael’s College a £1.35m project which consists of a floodlit 3G pitch, with athletics area and changing pavilion has been held. The design is progressing but construction will be put on hold.

At Mount Lourdes a £1.09m project has been shelved for this year. The project consists of an extension to the dining room, site works and provision of a covered walkway. The scheme like the work at St Michael’s has been approved, with design progressing, but construction will be put on hold.

Part of the work at Erne Integrated College will go ahead as planned in this financial year (phase 1), but again due to capital budget constraints in 2015/16 it has been necessary to delay delivery on phase 2. Phase 1, which consists of refurbishment works  is  proceeding at cost of around £180k. The Phase II design is progressing but construction will be put on hold. The entire project, approved at a total cost of £4m consists of a new sports hall, replacement roof, sixth form area and refurbishment of existing accommodation.

Thankfully £4m work at Willowbridge School, Enniskillen  has been released for delivery during 2015/16. The project consists of a new build extension, refurbishment of existing accommodation, and external works.

Speaking in relation to the School Enhancement Programme, Education Minister John O’Dowd told the Assembly’s Education Committee on 4 March:
“We have around 50 projects in the pipeline relating to the school enhancement programme. The projects have moved forward quite quickly, and that is a credit to Philip and his team.
However, I simply do not have the budget to move them all forward as quickly as I would like at this stage.
We have around 21 that will move forward, and they have been notified of that.
The others will be notified today that they will be delayed, but we have them at such a stage that, if capital becomes available through the year, we will be able to use capital in-year funding. I will be making bids to in-year monitoring rounds for capital because we have those projects at that advanced stage.
It used to be the case in Education that we would not have had any projects sufficiently advanced to use in-year capital, but thanks to the work of Philip and his team and others, we are now at the stage where we will be able to use in-year funding.”

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