East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson has welcomed assurances he received from the Education Minister regarding the planned hydrotherapy pool for Roddensvale School.
The facility - which provides a weight-free environment allowing pupils to be free of wheelchairs and enjoy a greater range of muscular movement - has been an aspiration of the school’s board of governors since the new building opened in 2005.
As previously reported in the Larne Times, the long-awaited plans are to be taken forward by the North Eastern Education and Library Board. Education Minister John O’Dowd has approved the Board’s business case for the proposed facility.
Mr Wilson said: “This is an issue which many parents have contacted me about and which for a number of years we have been lobbying for. There have been false hopes raised before but I am content that we are coming to an end of what has been a long battle.
“Having spoken to the Education Minister and received a letter of confirmation, it is now clear that there is a commitment to fund the project if the NEELB does not put up money from its capital minor works budget.
“The Board have been authorised to exceed the £500,000 limit placed on such a project have re engaged consultants and is preparing the design and planning application.
“Work is to start in January of next year and should take about 10 months. I have pressed them to start it sooner because the pool is needed greatly by children who suffer from severe disability, but because of other work being done to extend the school they claim that two contractors working on site would not be desirable.”