Extension proposal for growing Larne school

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A planning application has been lodged with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council for a new-build extension at Roddensvale School in Larne.

A single storey extension is proposed to include five new classrooms, ancillary support teaching rooms, toilets, reconfigured playground and additional car parking spaces. A modular extension opened last year to provide extra space to meet the needs of the growing special school at The Roddens.

Roddensvale principal John Madden said at the time that the new extension would give the school capacity for more than 200 pupils. In addition, the school has what he described as a “very vibrant nursery”. Roddensvale School is preparing to celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2024.

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In 2018, a new hydrotherapy pool opened in the school at a cost of almost £1m. Previously, pupils had to travel to a facility in Jordanstown. The Education Authority has described the pool opening as a “very significant landmark” in the school’s then 54-year history.

Roddensvale School, Larne. Photo: Google MapsRoddensvale School, Larne. Photo: Google Maps
Roddensvale School, Larne. Photo: Google Maps

That year, the Department of Education announced that Roddensvale was successful in its application for a school enhancement project.

Commenting on the proposed new extension, a spokesperson for the Education Authority said: “An updated technical feasibility report for Roddensvale School’s School Enhancement Project is currently being finalised by the Education Authority.

“When complete, the design will reflect a number of recent additions delivered through the EA’s Minor Works Programme – including three new classrooms which increased capacity to meet demand for places at Roddensvale at that time.

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“In addition, a planning application for five additional classrooms and associated ancillary spaces, was submitted in July 2023 to allow the school to continue to meet the immediate needs within the Larne area. These works were brought forward due to urgent need for accommodation and site constraints ahead of the School Enhancement Programme.

“Upon completion of the updated technical feasibility report, the SEP business case process will be recommenced and issued to the Department of Education for approval. This will identify the preferred option going forward and confirm funding parameters.”

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter