Delight as new £14.5m Rossmar Special School officially opens in Limavady

There were smiles all round as Education Minister Michelle McIlveen officially opened Rossmar Special School in Limavady this week.

The school is split across three wings: nursery and primary; multi-purpose hall, school meals accommodation and classrooms for home economics, art, science and music and finally secondary level for pupils aged up to 19.

There are also two sensory rooms, a soft playroom, a total immersion room and specialist subject rooms including Home Economics, Music, Design and Technology.

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Speaking at the official opening on Wednesday, Michelle McIlveen said: “I am so impressed with the fantastic facilities at Rossmar Special School following a significant investment of £14.5m from my Department.

Education Minister Michelle McIlveen, with from left, Heather Pratt, chair, Board of Governors, Caroline Clements, principal, and Alison Millar, Lord Lieutenant at the official opening.

Students from nursery age right up to 19 now have access to bright and colourful classrooms and specialist rooms for therapy targeted at supporting children with special educational needs.

“I want to congratulate everyone involved in bringing this impressive project to fruition, including school staff, Governors, consultants, contractors, and officials.”

Principal of Rossmar Special School, Principal Caroline Clements said: “Today is another milestone for pupils and staff as we are finally able to celebrate our official opening. It has been a long journey with many challenges to reach this point with many years of waiting for approval up until the first sod was cut in 2018.

“All of our hard work over the last years have resulted in a fantastic new school of which we are all very proud. I want to thank everyone who has been involved in bringing us to this stage including our staff, pupils, governors, contractors, the Department and the Education Authority and of course the wider school community,” Principal Clements added.

Education Minister Michelle McIlveen with P1 pupils Daniel and Declan during a tour of the new school. ©Lorcan Doherty

Rossmar Special School was announced as a major capital works project to advance in design in June 2012.

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Samuel Stevenson and Sons Consultants were appointed to progress the detailed design for the new school.

Glasgiven Contracts Limited was awarded the main building contract in March 2018 and construction commenced on site in April 2018. Staff and pupils moved into the new school building during the pandemic in April 2021, before the remaining site works completed on 21 January 2022.