Northern Ireland news

Collapse of procurement process for new £30 million school in Lurgan described as 'devastating'

Dolores Kelly, SDLP Assembly member, described news that the procurement process for a new £30 million school in Lurgan had collapsed as "devastating". Picture by Colm O'Reilly
Marie Louise McConville

A PLANNED £30 million school build is facing a delay after the procurement process collapsed.

Work on a building for St Ronan’s College in Lurgan, which will accommodate 1,750 pupils, had been expected to begin this summer.

However, Education Minister Michelle McIlveen revealed yesterday that the procurement process had fallen through.

St Ronan's opened in 2015 as a non-selective grammar, following a three-school amalgamation.

SDLP assembly member Dolores Kelly said it was "devastating news for Lurgan and for a whole generation of young people who should have been served by a state-of-the-art new campus".

"This just feels like a kick in the teeth for everyone who has been put in so much effort to get us this far," she said.

She added that she was disappointed that Ms McIlveen had not provided a time line for a fresh procurement exercise.

"We were expecting builders on site this summer," she said.

"Now people in our community are expected to sit in limbo. It’s not good enough."

In a response to an assembly question, Ms McIlveen said: "This will be disappointing news for all concerned, however I can assure you that all steps are being taken to commence a fresh competition as soon as possible."

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