A shared education campus between two neighbouring schools in Limavady “makes for better relationships within the community.”
Mary McCloskey, Principal of St. Mary’s, Limavady, also believes by partnering with her next door neighbour, Limavady High School, the result is “a win-win situation all around.”
While the schools will remain two distinct entities, they will enjoy a shared Sixth Form/Careers/Media and Drama centre on the St Mary’s school site and a shared Stem (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) centre on the Limavady High School site.
“It allows us to expand on what we have, and provides better resources, and much needed resources for the two schools and it makes more sense the resources are shared,” Mrs McCloskey said at a public consultation last week.
“The STEM centre that’s been built in Limavady High School will have very expensive rooms, very expensive equipment, and it makes economic sense these facilities are shared between the two schools. It allows our children to access a wider curriculum but, also, we feel from a community perspective it makes for better relationships within the community, so it’s a win-win situation all around.”
There will be new fronts to both schools and they will have “a shared concept”, said Mrs. McCloskey.
“While there will be a part joint facade “we are still going to be two schools behind,” said Mrs. McCloskey.
A spokesperson for the Department of Education said: “The business case for the shared campus facilities at St. Mary’s and Limavady High School has been approved. The total investment in shared facilities for both sites will be circa £7m. The next step in the process will be the appointment of a design team. The procurement process will take a number of months after which the detailed design process will commence.”
Acting Principal of Limavady High School, Darren Mornin, said:“Exciting things are going to happen over the next two, or three years in the community, and when you roll that in with the Rossmar new build, and the work going on there, the town is a fantastic place to be for education.”
He added: “It’s great when you come into school in the morning and you see both uniforms together, and they move across two schools, but it’s also when they go home into their own homes and neighbourhoods, and it’s that impact they have; it’s immeasurable.
“The beauty of shared education is that we can share resources, and we can work together, but we can still have our ethos that we are very proud of.”