Devenish College Governors and staff have confirmed that work is set to begin on the new school “in the next few weeks,” almost 15 years after the Tempo Road site was purchased.

Following the review of tender applications Glasgiven Contracts, a County Down based firm, has been awarded the contract by the Education Authority to build the new Devenish College.

“Contracts will be exchanged this week with construction beginning on-site within two weeks,” said Principal Simon Mowbray.

He continued: “The school has worked tirelessly over the last three years with our design team, Isherwood and Ellis and the Education Authority to design a fabulous educational facility that will accommodate 800 pupils.”

The new school is to include 38 Classrooms with modern teaching walls and interactive technologies, six science labs, three Design, Technology and Manufacturing workshops with planning rooms and IT provision, two Home Economics Labs, three Art rooms with computer suite, 3D Ceramics and kiln, a music suite containing two classrooms, a recording studio, keyboard suite and practice rooms, eight ICT suites with four smaller computer clusters, a Library, Learning Support suite, Drama Suite, Sixth Form centre, Green Room and Careers Suite. In addition, the new school will have PE provision to include a four court sports hall, fitness suite, five multi-use tennis courts, grass football and rugby pitches and a floodlit synthetic playing surface.

Mr. Mowbray commented: “The school has made significant steps forward in the last number of years to improve the quality of learning and teaching and pupil outcomes.” He added: “121 pupils will be joining us into Year 8 in September 2019 and we are delighted that these pupils will be some of the first to occupy our new school. It really is something the students and staff richly deserve.”

Alex Baird, Chairman of Devenish Board of Governors, offered his thanks to current and previous governors and staff, parents and pupils, former officers of the Western Education and Library Board, current officers of the Education Authority and the Department of Education.