Millennium school plans to be outlined at meeting

Millennium school plans to be outlined at meeting

8 January 2020

THE full detail of plans to build a new multi-million pound campus for Millennium Integrated Primary School outside Saintfield will be outlined at a public event on January 23.

As part of the planning process, a so-called pre-application event to provide people with an opportunity to view the plans is being organised.

It will be held at the school’s base at the Belfast Road on January 29 between 3pm and 5pm and 7pm and 9pm.

Last year, plans were unveiled to build a new larger school on the current site to cater for increased demand, with hopes that building work could potentially start after this spring.

Funding for the new 14-classroom school – which includes a dedicated nursery unit — is being supported by the Department of Education and Department of Finance, with the funding part of the Fresh Start Agreement money promised to integrated and shared education.

New hard and soft play areas, landscaping, car parking and amended access arrangements also form part of the school’s future development plan.

Opened in 2000 with just 10 children on the roll books, the integrated school has enjoyed unprecedented success. 

It subsequently moved to its current site outside Saintfield in 2003 and continued oversubion led the school going to so-called double enrolment in 2013.

Last September, there were two classes for each year group with the school’s enrolment standing at 365 primary children and another 52 children in the nursery school.

Staff at Millennium Primary say that the eagerly-awaited new build will ensure some children are no longer taught in mobile classrooms with the proposed scheme representing exciting times ahead for integrated education in the Saintfield and Carryduff areas.

They say the announcement of the new build “reinforces” the provision in the area and should firmly establish Millennium Integrated as a school for two communities.

When news of the new-build was outlined, school principal Barry Corrigan said it was his vision to help design and create a school “fit for the 21st century” and to meet the needs of all children.

He said he would like to work with staff and school family to create a legacy in a building that everyone can be proud of. 

It is hoped that construction work on the new school will be completed by early 2023 to help increase capacity.

The forthcoming pre-application event is being hosted by Resolve Planning and Development and anyone who wishes to make comment on the school proposal can do so on January 23. 

Written comments should be forwarded to Resolve at Fourthriver Business Park, 385 Springfield Road, Belfast, BT12 7DG or telephone 028 9590 2816.

The closing date for comments is Friday, January 31.