Expansion plans on track as St Kevin’s keeps growing

THINGS are finally on the move for St Kevin’s College, after a three-
year halt on decision making in Stormont put a hold on major extension
plans for the school. Despite this, “new hopes” have emerged since
the Executive got back to business – with plans to have a
“considerable” amount of extension work completed by September this
Local Cllr and Chairman on the board of Governors, Thomas O’Reilly
told the Herald, “We’ve waited so long to have a Minister in place to
finally sign-off paperwork and release money that was first invested
to facilitate the development of the school. We don’t want to see
another hold-up on the approval from the DoF (department of finance).
“For too long permanent secretaries were not making decisions on these
things and now that Stormont is up and running we don’t want to see a
back-log on major projects again. We want to see plans being
implemented now, when it should have been done three years ago.”
Developments will include new space to facilitate growing departments
such as ICT, music and drama, with more blocks to include specialised
accommodation for subjects across the board. The soaring influx of
students and exam success has seen numbers grow to over 700.
“In a way we have became a victim of our own success, more students
are wanting to come to St Kevin’s, therefore it is our duty to
accommodate that,” said the Newtownbutler councillor.
While expansion money lay dormant, it would appear that students and
staff at the school had to go the extra mile, functioning under the
constraints of a building that is suited for 500. “With all things
going well we will have another six new classrooms available on the
site and we should have them in place by September this year.
“Simultaneously, we are working with planners and a consultancy teams
who are working up plans needed for the extension that will go on the
site. This will give us future-proofing to cater for the growing
number of pupils that we have. Ultimately, at the end of that we will
want to start looking at the process of a new new-build for the
College because that is what will sustain us into the future.”

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