Contractor announced for new £20.5m school

Ganson (UK) Ltd has been appointed as contractor to construct a state of the art £20.5 million new school build for New-Bridge Integrated College at Donard View Road, Loughbrickland.

New-Bridge Intergrated College students gave a warm welcome to a team of visitors attending the pre-start new build meeting. Representatives from AECOM and our newly appointed contractors Ganson, along with architects and engineers were in attendance s to discuss important technical issues around the new school build. Mrs Anderson, principal, Mrs Cordner, designate school lead, and Mr Mehaffey, deputy chair of board of governors and SRO for the new build were also in attendance

Work on site is scheduled to commence in the early summer of 2022 and be completed in eighteen months.

The huge project will transform educational facilities in every respect and provide a superb educational setting far into the future, for the ever growing catchment area.

The new build is being funded by the Department of Education and is one of a number of Integrated Schools named in the first tranche of funding allocated under the Stormont House Fresh Start Agreement of March 2016.

The new build for New Bridge Integrated College is being funded by the Department of Education and is one of a number of Integrated Schools named in the first tranche of funding allocated under the Stormont House Fresh Start Agreement of March 2016

Principal Mrs Anne Anderson said that the new building will enable 670 students to access an integrated education in a modern state of the art building where sharing takes place every day.

“This new project will boost our curriculum offer, and provide fantastic facilities in which young people will continue to flourish and most importantly feel valued and invested in.

“I am excited for our students, our staff, our governors, our supportive parents and all our prospective families who are hoping to join our school community in the years to come.

“New-Bridge pupils and staff are set to benefit immensely from this new, modern, energy efficient school building.

“The design plans are breath-taking and will offer many new opportunities for students and staff, as well as the local community.

“The new college will create a contemporary 21st century educational setting, providing new classrooms and resources supporting New-Bridge staff to deliver the best possible education to young people.”

Mrs Anderson said the College was looking forward to the new sports facilities with pitches for football, Gaelic and rugby, including a 4 G surface and tennis courts.

“The new sports hall will enable the school to build on the success of all sporting teams, as well as providing top class facilities for many indoor sports.

Gerard McClelland, construction director, said: ‘Our delivery team is especially looking forward to the opportunity of creating this exciting prestigious development and look forward to the next important steps in delivering this complex education facility and leaving a positive lasting legacy for Loughbrickland and the wider area.

“It is anticipated that a significant number of new construction jobs will be created during the building phase of the New-Bridge Integrated College campus together with traineeships, apprenticeships and higher level apprenticeships across a range of construction related trades.

“We undertake projects throughout Ireland and the UK with offices in Dublin and Castlewellan and are a leading contractor in all sectors of Public and Private works. Ganson UK Limited is fully committed to providing a quality service – completing projects to the highest standards, on time and within budget.”

As the new school build will be constructed adjacent to the current buildings the school intends to use this as a learning experience for their pupils.

SDLP Upper Bann MLA Dolores Kelly has welcomed news, she said: “I was delighted to hear that a contractor has been appointed for the new build at New-Bridge Integrated College and look forward to seeing work commence next year. This project will provide a state of the art school and will have huge benefits for both pupils and staff when they move into the completed modern facility.

“The entire school community will benefit from the new facilities that will help the school continue their proud record of helping local young people reach their full potential. This project is a serious commitment to education in our area and one we need to see more of as we try to encourage our students to become the best they can be.

“I also welcome the creation of construction jobs and associated traineeships and apprenticeships while work is carried out on the new school. This area has suffered a number of disappointing jobs blows in recent months and anything that creates new roles and encourages people to continue their education or pursue a new career path is to be warmly welcomed.”