Work on a £1million extension project at St Bernard’s Primary School in Glengormley is due to get under way early in the New Year.
Mr Gavin Boyd, chief executive of the Education Authority, visited the Elmfield Road school on Wednesday, November 11 for the official sod cutting ceremony to mark the start of the building project.
Also present at the event were Jim Clarke, chief executive of the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS), representatives of the architects and contractors carrying out the work at the school, governors, parents and pupils.
Work on the extension, which will involve the provision of five new classrooms, reconfiguration of seven internal rooms and the creation of new playground facilities, is scheduled to begin in January 2016, with the project due to be completed by next autumn.
School principal, Mr Paul Flanagan said governors, parents, staff and children are “delighted” with the investment of almost £1m under the School Enhancement Programme.
“This will really enhance the educational provision and facilities at the school,” Mr Flanagan said.
“This is great news for a school that is growing by the day and it’s a wonderful gift for the future of our school which celebrates its 50th birthday in three years time.”
Former school governor, Glengormley SDLP Cllr Noreen McClelland also welcomed the official start of work on the extension project.
“I very much welcome this investment. It will provide much-needed facilities for this fast-growing school community,” she commented.
“St Bernard’s Primary School has increased its pupil numbers over the past few years, and both staff and pupils will benefit greatly from this work.”
Last Wednesday’s event also marked the official unveiling of the school’s new £350,000 improvements package under the Disability Access Programme.
The work, completed in September, included a range of measures to make the school compliant with disability legislation, such as the installation of wheelchair ramps, lifts, new doors, a new medical room and disabled toilet facilities.
A window replacement scheme also took place at the school as part of the work, bringing the Department of Education’s total investment in the project to in excess of £510,000.