St Killian’s College, Garron Tower, has been included in a £106 million Department of Education School Enhancement Programme (SEP).
The Catholic post-primary school – formed after amalgamation of the former St MacNissi’s College, Larne’s St Comgall’s College and St Aloysius High School, Cushendall – plans to be a hub for community education and sporting facilities in the Glens area.
The Larne Times understands the school’s development project will be funded to the tune of £2.5 million after last week’s announcement by Sinn Féin Education Minister John O’Dowd.
St Killian’s is one of 50 schools across the controlled, maintained and integrated sectors to benefit from the SEP, which is worth a potential total of £106 million over the next two to three years, providing for refurbishment or extensions each valued between £500,000 and £4 million. The Larne Times understands the St Killian’s allocation is around £2.5 million.
Mr O’Dowd said: “The purpose of this programme was to ensure that we provide the best possible education estate for our children and young people, within the budget available.”
He added: “The successful projects are all consistent with the emerging area plans and the scale of the investment underlines my continuing commitment to improving the schools estate. It comes in addition to the major works projects worth £350 million I have announced since last summer; in addition to the £31 million I have invested in minor works since January; and in addition to the £47 million I have earmarked for maintenance this year.
“Today’s announcement is good news for the pupils, staff and school communities involved, as well as being a welcome boost for the local construction industry.”
The announcement was welcomed by East Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Oliver McMullan, who said: “I had brought the minister on a visit to the school recently to look at the proposed improvements and I hope this helped convince him in awarding the money to the school. I know how much this funding will mean to the school in being able to develop better facilities for the children.
SF Coast Road councillor James McKeown said: “This is considerable funding, which will help to bring educational provision at St Killian’s up to date.”