New school takes a ‘major step forward’

Lagan Valley MLAs Jonathan Craig  and Edwin Poots with Stormont Education Minister John O'Dowd, Dromore High School's William Paterson and Principal John Wilkinson.
Lagan Valley MLAs Jonathan Craig and Edwin Poots with Stormont Education Minister John O'Dowd, Dromore High School's William Paterson and Principal John Wilkinson.

Dromore High School has taken a major step forward on the path to its proposed new home.

That’s according to Lagan Valley MLAs Jonathan Craig and Edwin Poots, who joined high school principal John Wilkinson in a recent meeting with Stormont Education Minister John O’Dowd.

The pair welcomed what they called the minister’s commitments regarding his Department’s plans to purchase the new Dromore High School site this financial year.

“With the outline planning permission now being in place,” they said in a joint statement, “and the business case for the purchase of the site being at the final stage of approval with the Finance Department, the long awaited new Dromore High School has taken a major step forward.

“There has been a huge amount of work carried out by the school and we would like to publicly thank the principal and the Board of Governors of Dromore High for the excellent campaign that they have fought.

“The case for the new school is an indisputable one; it has many more pupils than it was originally designed for, with a multiplicity of mobile buildings and real constraints on its recreational space as a consequence.

“The excellent outcomes delivered at the school are to do with the quality of teaching, the spirit of friendship and ethos of the school; such achievement is certainly not because of the quality of existing buildings.” The two said that with the addition of post-16 education at Dromore High School, the need for a new building was greater than ever.

“Working together with the school,” they said, “we will continue to press the case for the long awaited new school for Dromore High on the Banbridge Road site.

“We have made considerable progress over the last year and it will be important to maintain momentum to see this project through to completion.”

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