The school will be ready for occupancy in late 2018 or very early 2019.
FIRST Minister Arlene Foster dropped in on Devenish College last Friday to view plans for the new school, due to open in under three years time.
Mrs Foster said she was delighted that the new school build was “progressing on schedule”.
Belfast based architects Isherwood and Ellis have worked closely with the Principal, Governors and Staff of the school to design a modern purpose build college to occupy the Tempo Road site.
The new design will incorporate state-of-the-art facilities for 800 pupils including playing fields, on-site traffic managemtent, bus drop off and car parking areas as well as a landscaped site.
Enabling works have been on-going since last August but have been delayed slightly due to very wet weather and the discovery of a large deposit of peat. Remedial work has been carried out to allow this work to progress. while the enabling works are due to be completed by the start of May. Although the weather has delayed progress, the Principal Simon Mowbray says there has been “no detrimental effect on the completion of the overall project as the enabling works and the planning stages are running concurrently”.
In January the architects presented plans to the staff and Board of Governors which were submitted to the Department of Education for approval last week.
Mr Mowbray said: “We do not expect any problems as the project is accurate in terms of the permitted floor space and it is under budget.”
After approval, architects will work closely with staff on finalising the layout of the various departments within the school. This will take all of term three with approval expected to be submitted in late June or early July.
Most of the work will be undertaken in the autumn, involving preparing the final construction drawings for the tendering process. It is hoped that the tender will be available just before Christmas and that contractors will then be appointed early in the New Year. It’s expected that construction will take between 18 and 24 months meaning the school will be ready for occupancy in late 2018 or very early 2019.
Mr Mowbray told the Herald this week that he is delighted at the progress made since his appointment last September: “All of the deadlines and key dates that have been set out since June last year have been met with the exception of a delay in the enabling works, due to weather. I really must highlight the determination and commitment of the Education Authority Western Region and the professionalism of the design team. The facilities being planned for in the new build are second to none.”
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Posted: 6:00 pm March 17, 2016