Department of Education Permanent Secretary Paul Sweeney visited Ballymoney High School last week to see the start of a £3.8million improvement project.
The project includes a new two-storey modular building which will provide specialist accommodation, including provision for a new music suite, two home economics suites, ICT and Business suites and in addition four general classrooms.
There will also be some refurbishment work which will enhance the toilet facilities, offices and entrance hall.
Speaking about the investment, Mr Sweeney said: “This £3.8million investment will enable improvements to be carried out which will positively impact on pupils, teachers and school staff. The improved and new accommodation at the school will provide better facilities for our young people to learn in and an improved working environment for all the school staff.”
Continuing the Permanent Secretary said: “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 education standards.”
The School Enhancement Programme (SEP) was announced in 2013 for projects costing between £500,000 and £4,000,000. The programme is targeted to meet the immediate and pressing needs in schools, through smaller scale works, where a new build capital works are not deemed deliverable.
In conclusion, Paul Sweeney said: “This is a good day for all the pupils and staff of Ballymoney High School and this level of investment also provides a significant boost for the local construction industry. I am delighted to be here today to celebrate with them.”
North Antrim DUP MLA and Social Development Minister Mervyn Storey, has welcomed the commencement of the school enhancement project.
Commenting after attending the official launch at the school Mervyn Storey said, “As a past pupil and Board of Governor of the School I was pleased when Ballymoney High secured £3.8million from the school enhancement programme.
“The construction of a new two-storey modular building which will provide specialist accommodation, including provision for a new music suite, two home economics suites, ICT and Business suites and in addition four general classrooms is welcome news.
“Also the recent window replacements at the school all adds up to progress in the physical structure of the building.
“With challenging budgets across Government this investment is particularly welcome. The School however remains committed as do I, to ensuring that there is a new capital build for the school that has been talked about for sometime. In the meantime these additional facilities will greatly enhance the teaching environment both for staff and pupils.
“I would also like to congratulate Mrs Cynthia Currie on being appointed the new principal of the School and wish her and the school every success in the future.”
Speaking at the event, Mrs Cynthia Currie, the newly appointed Principal to the school, expressed her delight at the enhanced provision and how the first class facilities would no doubt encourage the young people to aspire higher, expect more and be enabled to achieve their full potential.
She shared how the new facilities would contribute to ensuring that the young people, in particular in the specialised subject areas provided, would have the opportunities they deserve.
She highlighted that one of the stipulations of the School Enhancement Project is being a sustainable school under the Area Based Plans and Ballymoney High are proud to say that they are deemed to be a sustainable school providing high quality learning experiences for pupils and continuing to be a popular choice for young people in the wider area,
She pointed to the fact that this is achieved by the wider school community pupils, parents and a very dedicated team of staff working together in partnership and moving the school forward.
On behalf of the school she expressed her thanks to the Education Authority and the various personnel involved in the design and construction teams and praised their dedication, professionalism and commitment in expediting business at the planning stage. She also paid tribute to the past and present governors who have helped to keep pushing for enhanced facilities and highlighted that although this is a fantastic boost for the school, the school would still continue to be committed to securing a new school in future.