New School for New-Bridge Integrated College!
John O’Dowd, Education Minister Visits New-Bridge to Congratulate the College
A new school has been approved for New-Bridge Integrated College under the ‘Fresh Start’ Stormont House Agreement funding.
The Governors, Principal, staff and pupils are ecstatic following this recent announcement. Mrs Anderson took the opportunity to invite Mr John O’Dowd to visit the College one last time as Education Minister prior to the assembly elections.
On Tuesday 3 May, Mr O’Dowd addressed a full school assembly and congratulated the College community on the news that we are to receive a new school. He commented that he has very much enjoyed the relationship he had built up with the College in his role as Education Minister and that he has enjoyed watching the school grow and reading about the many successes of the pupils. Mr O’Dowd remarked that New-Bridge is an ‘Excellent’ school and deserves ‘Excellent’ facilities.
Mrs Anderson thanked Mr O’Dowd for his support over the years and for coming in to ‘Share and Celebrate’ the success of our school. The College Chamber choir, finalists in the BBC Ulster School Choir of the year performed Mr O’Dowd paid tribute to them and to a number of students who have proven themselves to be wonderful ambassadors for the College and for integrated education. Mr O’Dowd has been no stranger to the College over the years.
- Mr O’Dowd’s first visit to New-Bridge was in 2013 following an invitation from Mrs Anderson to view the College facilities. During that visit he announced the approval of our Development Proposal to increase our annual enrolment from 80 to 100 ensuring an additional 100 pupils achieved a place in New-Bridge integrated College over the course of 5 years.
- In the latter end of 2013 Mr O’Dowd highlighted the College as an example of ‘Good Practice’ in Literacy and Numeracy.
- Mr O’Dowd accepted an invitation in 2014 to be Guest of Honour at our Senior Prize giving.
- In October 2015, Mr O’Dowd joined with us to celebrate our 20th Anniversary.
- Mr O’Dowd invited students to join him at a reception in Stormont to celebrate the achievements of their success in the BT Young Scientist Competition in 2015 and 2016.
Following the approval of our Development Proposal, the College was successful in obtaining £4m funding to increase our existing accommodation, with improved sports facilities and replacement classrooms. Whilst the school begins the process of planning for a new school build, additional accommodation will also be provided for school in the shorter term to satisfy the growing school population. Staff, governors, parents and pupils are delighted that the Fresh Start Agreement is supporting the growth of New-Bridge Integrated College through ring fencing money for our new school build. Fantastic news for the school to receive during its 20th anniversary year of celebrations.
Work on Phase 1, a 5 classroom block located behind the school canteen is due to commence in the coming weeks and will be complete for the new academic year in September 2016. This will include
- 1 science lab (chemistry
- 1 music room
- 3 general classrooms
Phase 2 is due to commence January 2017 on a 12 classroom block to replace lower site original mobile accommodation constructed in 1997.
Phase 3 – New School build Announced under the Stormont House Agreement – “Fresh Start Funding” to support the development of integrated schools. Funding has been secured for a new school build which will be undertaken over 5 year process.
We are delighted that this news comes just as we near the end of our 20th Anniversary year and we look forward to plans to move into our new accommodation in the not too distant future.