Design unveiled for a new top class school for St Louis’ Grammar, Kilkeel

Plans have been unveiled for a new school building for St Louis’ Grammar School, Kilkeel, designed by Hamilton Architects.

After extensive stakeholder consultation, a design was agreed which will deliver a high-performance school and sports facility for 860 students on the current site at Newry Road.

A primarily 2-storey building will incorporate a single-storey block to the west with panoramic views of the countryside and Carlingford Lough. The first floor features changing rooms and PE accommodation leading to a terrace area for spectator viewing over the GAA pitch.

A hard play area in the south-facing central courtyard will benefit from passive surveillance from overlooking classroom wings, while showcasing the backdrop of a wooded motte.

The existing vehicular access point from the main road is to be retained and widened to accommodate a new entrance with right and left turn exit lanes. Visitor parking and pupil drop-off areas on the left are conveniently located near the main entrance of the new building.

Buses will drop off on the west side, serving both the pupil entrance and the SMA and Technology block. A service road along the motte’s edge toward the existing groundworks store is also planned.

Staff and student parking along the western boundary of the site will be at a lower level, screened by vegetation and planting.

External sports pitches will be grouped together to the east and south, allowing for clear demarcation of secure fence lines for pupil and public areas.

Future considerations for expansion include a rear extension which connects the two classroom wings at first floor level, facilitating a rotational flow of internal circulation.

Construction will be executed in four principal phases to minimise disruption.

It is hoped that when the new school is completed it will allow St Louis to resume its role at the heart of Mourne, with second-to-none sports facilities that will benefit not just pupils, but also the wider community.