School investment warmly welcomed

NEWS of the £11.4 million investment at Dromore Central Primary School has been warmly welcomed by local political representatives.

Lagan Valley DUP MLA, Mrs Brenda Hale, welcomed news that Dromore Central Primary School has been selected to be developed as part of the Department of Education Investment Delivery Plan.

She commented, “This is excellent news for parents and children living in the Dromore area and and I am sure the whole community will be delighted with this news.

“Since my election in May 2011, I have constantly lobbied the Education Minister to provide the investment needed, to meet the demands placed on Dromore Central Primary by the local community. I have met with the School Principal, Mr Jim Cochrane, in order to fully understand the on-going problems faced by staff, so that a rigorous case could be made for Dromore Central to gain the investment needed for a new build.

“Whilst it is still at the early stages, it is not yet clear when any start date will be finalised for the new development, but it has been confirmed that the Department is at the last stages of planning and design.”

Her party colleague, Edwin Poots MLA, added, “I welcome the fact that after many years of cramped conditions the school will now be able to accommodate staff and pupils in a modern, fit for purpose building.

“It means that teachers can maximise the opportunities of the pupils at the school, and it adds further opportunities for Dromore High School as well for their sixth form provision.

“It is positive news for Dromore and, in particular, for Dromore Central Primary School.”

Speaking after unveiling the list of new builds, Education Minister John O’Dowd said: “Since taking on the role 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.

“This will be good news for the pupils and communities directly affected. A world-class educational environment will help us deliver the improvements in educational outcomes we are working so hard to achieve.”