Finanical boost for two local schools

Two Lisburn schools will receive a welcome financial boost as part of Stormont's School Enhancement '¨Programme.

Education Minister John O’Dowd has announced that Wallace High School and St Patrick’s Academy in Lisburn are two of the twelve schools that will share in the £35 million investment to enhance school buildings.

St Patrick’s Academy will receive £3.7 million and Wallace High School will receive £3.2 million.

Making the announcement, the Minister said: “The improved and new accommodation will provide better facilities for young people to learn in and an improved working environment for all the school staff. Ongoing investment in our schools’ estate is essential if we are to continue to provide a high quality education.”

The Principal of Wallace High School, Mrs Deborah O’Hare, said the school was delighted at the Minister’s announcement. “This money is approved to construct a new Home Economics, Art and Moving Image Art wing to the school and there will be an extension to the current Technology provision. A state of the art Strength and Conditioning Suite with enhanced changing facilities will also be constructed to meet the needs of the very large number of young people involved in sport and the community clubs and societies which already avail of our facilities.”

Work at St Patrick’s Academy will include a new stand-alone block to for specialist subject accommodation, which will include sports hall and associated changing/shower, toilet, storage and ancillary accommodation; two Studio Music Suite accommodations; two Studio Art and Design Suite accommodations; and two Home Economics Suite accommodations.

Principal, Dr Seamus Quinn, said: “St Patrick’s has been one of Lisburn’s premier schools for some time now and it is great to see this recognised by the Department of Education.

“This School Enhancement Project is a wonderful birthday present as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the school.

“The facilities this new build will provide for our pupils are the first in a series of exciting developments that will ensure St Patrick’s Academy continues to be the school of choice for discerning parents.”