Limavady integrated primary school ‘at the heart’ of Gorteen revamp

RVIPS Principal, Julie McDonagh, Joanne ODonnell, Vice Principal and pupils Grace, Jacob, Evan and Layla. Photo: RVIPS
RVIPS Principal, Julie McDonagh, Joanne ODonnell, Vice Principal and pupils Grace, Jacob, Evan and Layla. Photo: RVIPS

A primary school in Limavady is looking forward to “being at the heart of the regeneration” of the former Gorteen site in the town.

Roe Valley Integrated Primary School on Roemill Road opened its doors in 2004 with just 12 pupils. Still on the same site, its 192 pupils are educated in portable classrooms.

A modular building for administrative staff, a primary one classroom, a multi-purpose assembly hall and Special Educational Needs room were built in recent years.

However, that’s all set to change after a business case for a new-build was approved in July 2016 with an estimated cost of £3.4 million.

The contract for the school’s new site was signed recently, which principal Julie McDonagh said will secure the school’s long-term sustainability.

“There is still a lot of hard work ahead of us, but Roe Valley Integrated P.S. is ready for the challenge as always,” said Mrs. McDonagh.

The new school will be located behind the Old Gorteen House Hotel lands along the Ballyquin Road, on the right-hand side of the road leaving Limavady, just before the turn onto Scroggy Road.

Mrs. McDonagh is keen to stress how good the school is regardless of the new-build, but says the new-build “will take us to the next level”.

She also believes it’s “confirmation of how well we have established ourselves in the local area”.

“Roe Valley Integrated P.S. is very much looking forward to being at the heart of the regeneration of the former Gorteen site and facilitating the growth of Limavady as a town,” said Mrs.McDonagh.

A spokesperson for the Department of Education said procurement of an Integrated Consultant Team is under way but was unable to say when work will start as the project is still at the early stages of planning.

However, Mrs. McDonagh hopes pupils will be at their desks in their new school within the next two and a half years. “We are excited to design a modern, fit for purpose school for Roe Valley Integrated P.S. pupils, parents and staff, and also the wider Limavady community,” said Mrs. McDonagh. “Since the school opened its doors in 2004 we have been working towards a new build to secure it’s long-term sustainability.”

Mrs. McDonagh acknowledged the “outstanding commitment, work and leadership” of Ryan Brolly, Chairperson of the Board of Governors and the Senior Leadership Team at Roe Valley Integrated P.S. for leading the project.The purchase of the site will be funded through the Fresh Start Agreement.