Education Minister Michelle McIlveen has cut the first sod on a new 700-pupil school for Ulidia Integrated College in Carrickfergus, designed by Hamilton Architects.
Hamilton Architects have an extensive education portfolio and are leading the Integrated Consultant Team for the project, which is supported by Fresh Start funding.
Speaking at the event, the Minister said: “I welcome this £25m investment, which represents a significant milestone for Ulidia Integrated College.
“Once completed, the new school will provide much-needed education benefits for pupils, staff, teachers, parents and the wider community.
“Schools are very much the hub of any community and I am certain this investment will have a major impact on the wider local community, promoting good relations and creating many positive outcomes.
“Ongoing investment in our schools’ estate is essential if we are to continue to deliver a high-quality education for all our young people, as well providing a boost to the local economy and securing construction.”
Graeme Ogle, Partner at Hamilton Architects, said: “We are delighted this great project is moving ahead. With some site clearance work already completed, construction began on 12th September.
“The new three-storey, 10,314m2 facility will accommodate around 700 pupils in 43 classrooms on the school’s existing site at Victoria Road, with construction taking place over a number of phases.
“The new school building and state-of-the-art 3G pitches and PE facilities will be put in first, followed by the demolition of the existing building and completion of site works in the second phase.
“Facilities include a new Technology and Design suite which will be four times bigger than current provision, with a dedicated study and wellbeing space for Sixth Form and a stunning new library with far-reaching views over Belfast Lough.”
Principal Michael Houston has previously said that the current complex is no longer fit for purpose, with a new build much needed to meet the demands of Ulidia’s broad curriculum, which offers both Grammar and All Ability Pathways for learning.