Long awaited movement on the relocation of Foyle College and Ebrington Primary School to new premises at Clooney in Derry has finally gotten underway.
This week the Boards of Governors of Ebrington Primary School & Nursery and Foyle College are delighted to announce that plans for the co-location of the two schools have finally gone out to tender, with seven Northern Ireland firms involved in the bidding process. There had been some fears in the two school communities that the recent announcements regarding budget cuts of some 20% in the capital budget might impact on the project, but the Department of Education has already made provision to ensure that the project goes ahead.
This decision will lead to significant investment in the Waterside; not only in terms of new infrastructure, but more importantly as a means of ensuring the very best education for the young people who will attend the new schools.
Nigel Dougherty, Principal of Ebrington, said: “Ebrington has a long and proud history stretching back over 114 years. We will soon have an outstanding new building with excellent facilities which, we hope, will serve the children and the community of the Waterside for the next 50 years”.
The Chief Executive of the WELB, Mr Barry Mulholland said: “This shared campus is a very exciting venture for Ebrington Primary School and Nursery Unit and will enhance the educational provision within the Waterside and surrounding Area”.
Commenting on the announcement Patrick Allen, Principal of Foyle College, stated: “It is our hope that the new school facilities will provide an inspirational learning environment that will encourage every pupil to reach their full potential. Foyle College teachers are currently developing their use of new technologies in preparation for the move so as to better engage pupils and provide them with the skills needed in the modern workplace”.
Both Principals stated that they are delighted to have reached this stage following a lengthy, and at times frustrating, campaign stretching over many years.
Robin Young, Chairman of the Foyle College Board of Governors said of the news “We are delighted to have got over the final hurdle and look forward to forging closer links between the two schools at all levels for the benefit of both sets of pupils”.
The tender period for the project commenced on today December 5, and it is intended that work will finally commence on the Clooney site at the beginning April 2015.