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Department invests £300k for new St Mary’s roof

The former principal at St Mary’s Ann Lindsay with teacher Claire Coyle pictured in 2016. The trusses supporting the roof in one of the classrooms can be clearly seen.

OVER three years after its plight was first brought to their attention, the Department of Education has committed over £300,000 for a new pitched roof at St Mary’s Primary School, Cloughcor.

Back in April 2015 thick wooden trusses – at a cost of £10,000 – were used to prop up the ailing roof in a number of classrooms. Consequently, in November the following year the then Education Minister Peter Weir visited the school at the behest of fellow MLA Daniel McCrossan. The minister was given a stark run-down of the challenges posed by the deteriorating flat roof and the school’s satellite mobile units.

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However new funding was ultimately achieved through the School Enhancement Programme – Second Call (SEP2) after its launch in January 2017. Tender approved for construction costs of £312,836 was granted on 4 June this year.

“This is a welcomed development for the school and I very much welcome this investment,” Daniel McCrossan said this week.

“However, it is, in the grand scheme of things, a short term measure. It’s my view that a new and fit for purpose school should be built for St Mary’s. It has an excellent academic record, it has first class teachers and the school is delivering for local people. I will continue my lobbying to the Department for additional investment in the upcoming months.”

He added, “I’m delighted for the school that the work on the roof has already begun and will hopefully be in place before the beginning of the new school term.”

Minor works scheme also currently being progressed by the Department for St Mary’s include remedial works to the sewage system and replacement septic tank, and a solution to the ageing satellite mobile units.

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