New-Bridge Integrated College is absolutely delighted to receive official planning approval from ABC Council for its £17.8 million new school build, a much anticipated announcement!
Design work has been ongoing behind the scenes while we waited for planning approval but it is so exciting now we have the green light to move to Stage 4 of the project when the building contractor will be appointed and work will commence on designing the interior finish of the school.
The impact of the Covid lockdown has presented some challenges for us in terms of our project timetable but we remain hopeful that work will begin on our site in 2021 with an 18 month building schedule. We pay tribute to the efforts of our architects at AECOM and to the Department of Education who have been working hard to push the project forward despite the obstacles.
As New-Bridge celebrates its 25th anniversary, we are so excited about the many opportunities our modern school buildings and state-of-the-art sports facilities will offer both our students and our staff – we have been waiting a long time for this and it is great to know that all our efforts have now been rewarded through full planning approval.
A formal proposal was submitted to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, in March this year.
The plans for a new 10,000 sq metre school building and sports hall were given the go-ahead when the council’s planning committee sat recently. The scheme will also include three playing fields and four tennis courts, as well as landscaping.
The new school will be built on the site of the existing school, at Donard View Road, and an adjacent field. It will require the “phased demolition” of the current school, which has an enrolment of 620, and replacement with the new-build. The aim is to “deliver a modern post-primary school that can accommodate the growing demand for integrated education in our catchment area”.
The existing school consists of two main buildings, a number of modular buildings, together with a canteen and some sports playing provision. The proposed design is largely located on the existing school site with the addition of land to the rear of the existing school to provide the required playing fields. A phased construction is planned with most of the main building constructed in one phase. After decant and demolition of the existing accommodation the remaining block, sports hall and then canteen will be constructed.
The design has been developed across three distinct sections across the site. Access to the school will be via a new entrance to Donard View Road. The first section of the site is the entrance and traffic management area of the development.
The main school building will be located on the middle portion of the site. The proposed school building will be arranged with teaching spaces orientated to an approximate east/west axis. It will comprise of two main teaching wings connected via the central linking block which runs perpendicular to the teaching wing and houses the main entrance, library and central dining space.
The sports pitches, synthetic pitch and tennis courts will be located to the west of the site behind the main building. The additional site area will be used to provide grass pitches. The sports hall is constructed close to the existing playing pitches. The scheme comprises of 10,101 sq metres of education accommodation including the sports hall, typical of a modern school facility. This comprises of general and specialised teaching classrooms, such as the manufacturing, science and drama classrooms, dining facilities, multi-purpose hall, administration and a separate sports building to include a large sports hall, fitness suite and changing facilities.
The pitch provision will accommodate various sports including GAA, soccer, rugby and hockey.
There will be 107 car parking spaces – including five disabled bays – available at two locations within the school site. The project for the construction is currently out to tender.
Exciting times ahead for New-Bridge…