Islandmagee Primary School: rise in material costs impacts new build project

Increases in material costs have had an impact on the new build project for Islandmagee Primary School, the Department for Education has said.

An artist's impression of the new Islandmagee Primary School
An artist's impression of the new Islandmagee Primary School
An artist's impression of the new Islandmagee Primary School

It comes as East Antrim MLA, John Stewart, met with staff at the school last week to discuss the ongoing issues affecting the new build.

Planning permission for the long-awaited project, which will accommodate the amalgamated Mullaghdubh and Kilcoan primary schools on one site, was granted in June 2021.

Meanwhile, the proposal to amalgamate all three then-existing primary schools in Islandmagee at a new build on a new site was originally made by the Northern Eastern Education and Library Board in 2003.

Writing on social media, Mr Stewart said: “The children who were in Primary 1 when the new school build was first proposed could now have now graduated from university. Delays are no longer acceptable.

“The Islandmagee teachers, governors and community have been excellent throughout and continue to play a productive role.

“What we need now is a final push from the Education Authority and Department of Education to get this project started and ensure the new build will he finished in time for the 2023 in-take.

“Both Carrickfergus Academy and Abbey Community College [also] need to see the promises of new school builds delivered ASAP.”

A Departmental spokesperson said: “The design phases of the Islandmagee project are now complete, planning permission has been granted and enabling works have been undertaken on the new school site.

“Due to material price increases over the past number of months, the estimated project costs have increased since approval of the original Business Case was granted in 2019. In response to this, the Education Authority is in the process of finalising a Business Case Addendum which examines and captures the increase in costs.

“Department of Education (DE) approval of the Business Case Addendum will be required before the project can progress to tender for a contractor.

"DE remains committed to delivering this project for the Islandmagee community.”

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