£5.7m new build for Model Primary

Published: 28 Jun 2012 13:000 comments

There has been a universal welcome to the announcement that the Enniskillen Model Primary School is to be rebuilt, several years after it was recommended for replacement.

Anne Keys, (SMT) School Management Team; Barbara Brand, SMT; Helen Thompson, secretary with pupils Kloe Gault, Amie Elliott and Ben Doherty outside Enniskillen Model Primary School which is to be replaced by a new school.

This week Education Minister, Mr. John O'Dowd announced that the school is finally to get a £5.7million replacement school. The new school project is not likely to start until the final quarter of this financial year, probably in the early months of 2013.

The School has an enrolment at present of around 450 pupils and applications for new P1 pupils are already oversubscribed for this September.

The Principal, Mr. Winston Glass and the Chairman of the Board of Governors, Mr. Peter Little said they were both delighted at the announcement.

"The school, given its growing enrolment and confirmed high standards, has featured well in the Department's longer term viability surveys. Regardless, this news comes as a welcome surprise to all connected to the school," they said.

"In collaboration with the Western Education and Library Board, the governors are looking forward to revisiting the existing detailed plans for a new school in order to progress development (on the same site) in the not too distant future.

"In the interim, the support of the WELB continues to be excellent, as gradual improvements are made to the existing estate - in order to further enhance the provision for all of the school's stakeholders".

The School was earmarked for replacement several years ago until the Northern Ireland Environment Agency intervened and suggested the Model School might be recommended for listing because of its architectural merit. This resulted in a considerable delay until the then Environment Minister, Mr. Edwin Poots announced that it would not be listed.

The Minister announced an investment in 18 schools across Northern Ireland with the Model School the only one in Fermanagh.

Mr O'Dowd said: "Since taking on the role of Minister for Education I have visited schools in each and every sector of education provision. The common factor across the estate has been the clear need for considerable investment in infrastructure.

"The need for investment far exceeds the funding available. While I would like to be in a position to fund everything that needs doing now, I must work within the budget available. This means difficult decisions on future investment plans.

"The area planning process currently being undertaken will determine the future pattern of provision in each area. It is estimated that it will be the final quarter of the current financial year, however, before the first plans are formally adopted. It is clear, therefore, that decisions are needed now to influence capital expenditure in the next two financial years, therefore I have decided to move forward immediately with 13 new school builds in the primary and post-primary sectors.

"These schools come from right across the north and were identified as the highest priority projects following a rigorous selection process.

The Minister also announced the establishment of a new Schools Enhancement Programme. This programme will make available funding of up to £4million for any individual project which is aimed at refurbishing or extending existing schools. Priority will be given to projects aimed at supporting amalgamation or rationalisation. Initially up to £20 million will be available for this programme in 2013-14 with the option of increasing this in 2014-15 depending on the number and quality of proposals.

While the Model School announcement has been welcomed, concern has been expressed at the continued delay in the new school for Devenish College.

Mr. Alex Baird, Chairman of the Board of Governors at Devenish College, said, "I am very pleased that Enniskillen Model School will now have the premises they deserve. I am disappointed that there is still no movement on the new school for Devenish College which we were promised would be open in 2008.

"In 2009 all six schools in the controlled /voluntary sector were involved with officials from the Western Education and Library Board in producing an Economic Appraisal which was submitted to the Department of Education in January 2010. This Economic Appraisal if implemented would I believe have produced 21st century accommodation for all of the controlled/voluntary sector in Fermanagh. It is, I believe, unforgivable that the Department of Education has allowed a veto by some involved in the process and has not acted on the Economic Appraisals recommendation".

A similar view was shared by Ulster Unionist MLA for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, Mr. Tom Elliott who said, "I welcomed the opportunity to speak in the debate and over many years there has been an erosion of the school estate with the closure of many rural schools in the county and the situation in regard to Devenish College can only be described as a disgrace and after eight years, still no mention of a new build or progress.

"It is my fear that the numbers at the school will reduce, staff redundancies will occur and that the Department of Education intention that the long awaited new Devenish College will never be built, but will actually force its closure by stealth. It would seem that Fermanagh and Devenish College has in fact largely been ignored by successive education ministers and now its forgotten.

"I fought long and hard to secure the Duke of Westminster site in Kesh until the new Devenish College was built and at that time we were given clear assurances and promises of a new build, but we continue to find that no funding has yet been ear marked for this school. It is a public scandal that tens of thousands of pounds can be spent on consultants for Devenish College and still we have a vacant site. What is now required is certainty that this new build will take place in the next round of spending in the autumn," he concluded.

Jump to first paragraph.


comments powered by Disqus

Get more stories from our Roundup section

23 Apr 2014 22:30 • Editorial Department

In tomorrow's Impartial Reporter:

The phone call no mother wants as Ruby Brown tells of the moment she learned of the death of son Richard in a motorbike accident. Read her in-depth and moving interview.

Social: Comments0 comments

23 Apr 2014 21:30

Late Breen strike sends Town into final

Enniskillen Town Utd came from a goal down to book their place in the final of the Impartial Reporter Mulhern Cup with a 2-1 win over Kesh at Ferney Park tonight.


23 Apr 2014 15:35

Car stolen in "creeper burglary"

A car was stolen during a so-called “creeper burglary” at Raceview Court near the Cornagrade Road in Enniskillen.


23 Apr 2014 13:15

Castle Archdale hosts Dawn Chorus event

LOCAL people are invited to meet at Castle Archdale at 5am on Saturday, May 3, to listen to the birds welcome the new day in fine voice.


23 Apr 2014 11:30

Radio DJ includes Fermanagh stop in marathon challenge for charity

A radio DJ will bring her fundraising marathon challenge to Fermanagh this June in aid of Cancer Research UK.


23 Apr 2014 09:30

Arsonists responsible for 15 gorse fires since beginning of April

Arsonists are being blamed for starting around 15 gorse fires in the Garrison and Belcoo area since the beginning of April.


22 Apr 2014 17:00

Mallards slip into bottom two

Ballinamallard United slipped into the bottom two in the Danske Bank Premiership on goal difference following today's 2-2 draw with Dungannon Swifts at Ferney Park.


22 Apr 2014 15:00 • Editorial Department

Opinion - Kylie Noble - Why I’m excited to vote for the first time

The rites of passage of growing up vary from person to person but throughout my own life events such as turning 13, my first formal, my GCSE and A level results, my 18th birthday (and my first and to date only hangover that followed), getting into university and moving away from home are just a few which I imagine are pretty common landmarks among my generation.

Social: Comments0 comments

22 Apr 2014 15:00

Rucksacks stolen in car break-in

A car was broken into at Navar Forest near Derrygonnelly last night (Monday).


22 Apr 2014 13:00 • Rodney Edwards

Stormont Files: Farm Watch designed to prevent rural crime - O'Neill

FARMERS in Fermanagh are being encouraged by the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) in Enniskillen to take part in the Farm Watch Scheme, an initiative endorsed by Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill.


22 Apr 2014 12:00

Lisnaskea home attacked

A house in Lisnaskea has been attacked.


22 Apr 2014 11:00 • Rodney Edwards

Stormont Files: Litter droppers approach MLA to quash £75 fine

A NUMBER of people in Fermanagh have been fined £75 for “dropping a cigarette butt or a sweet paper” on the street, according to UUP MLA Tom Elliott.

Social: Comments0 comments

22 Apr 2014 09:00

Motorist knew insurance shown to police had been cancelled

A 47-year-old factory worker has admitted fraudulently using a certificate of car insurance by showing it to the police, knowing it had been cancelled.


21 Apr 2014 22:30

Man(20) took father's car without consent

A 20-year-old man thought he was being “sensible” when he got behind the wheel of a crashed car to drive it home.


21 Apr 2014 19:00

Jail sentence for driver caught without insurance four times in two weeks

A 30-year-old car dealer caught driving without insurance four times in two weeks despite paying out £3,500 in premiums has been given a jail sentence.


21 Apr 2014 17:30

Number out of work in Fermanagh fell by 2.4 per cent in March

Unemployment in Fermanagh fell by 2.4 per cent last month.


21 Apr 2014 15:00 • Meadhbh Monahan

Steering a safe path of expansion through the downturn

Liam Connolly Road Freight (LCRF) provides groupage services (i.e. from single pallet collections to full double-deck trailer collections) for over 300 customers throughout Ireland and the UK each day.

Social: Comments0 comments

21 Apr 2014 13:00 • Rodney Edwards

Irish President is latest to commend work of Enniskillen church leaders

THE work of Enniskillen’s two main church leaders, the Very Rev. Kenneth Hall and Monsignor Peter O’Reilly, has received a warm acknowledgement from yet another head of state.

Social: Comments0 comments

21 Apr 2014 09:00 • Editorial Department

Not against a community centre but not on ‘our doorstep’

“WE are not against a community centre, we just don’t want it on our doorstep.”

Social: Comments0 comments

20 Apr 2014 19:00

'We want to do it for the supporters' - Davy Black

Clogher Valley coach David Black has vowed to make up for their All Ireland Junior Cup Final defeat by winning the Ulster Towns’ Cup for their supporters when they take on Donaghadee at Ravenhill on Easter Monday.