First sod turned at new school complex

There were scenes of celebration last week with the cutting of the first sod on the new site for the £31m Foyle and Londonderry College and Ebrington Primary School.

Nigel Dougherty, Principal of Ebrington Primary School said his school had a long and proud history stretching back to 1902.

Education Minister John O'Dowd MLA,with, from left, Patrick Allen, Headmaster of Foyle College, Kacey Laird,pupil, Luke Pentland, a P5 pupil at Ebrington Primary School, and Nigel Dougherty, Principal of Ebrington Primary INLS2215-106KM

Education Minister John O'Dowd MLA,with, from left, Patrick Allen, Headmaster of Foyle College, Kacey Laird,pupil, Luke Pentland, a P5 pupil at Ebrington Primary School, and Nigel Dougherty, Principal of Ebrington Primary INLS2215-106KM

“With the cutting of the sod, it’s to the future we look with great excitement. This is the beginning of our vision for a new Ebrington Primary School as we prepare to co-locate with Foyle College on this wonderful site on the Limavady Road,” he said.

He said the school would soon have an outstanding building with excellent facilities that would serve as an inspirational learning environment.

Chairman of Governors at Foyle College said the opportunity to celebrate the school’s 400th birthday in a new facility was now within sight.

“I have been contacted by many people, expressing universal support for the project. It will not only improve the teaching and learning experience for our pupils in Foyle College, it will also create the opportunity for the University of Ulster at Magee to grow, expand and improve its offering to our pupils,” he said.

Mildred Garfield, Governor, John Manning, Chair of the Board of Governors of Ebrington Primary School, Mark Durkan MP, Luke Pentland, pupil, Nigel Dougherty, Principal of Ebrington Barry Mulholland, Regional Managing Director, Education Authority, Jessica Smallwoods, the youngest P1 pupil, and Irene Stone, Vice-Principal. INLS2215-111KM

Mildred Garfield, Governor, John Manning, Chair of the Board of Governors of Ebrington Primary School, Mark Durkan MP, Luke Pentland, pupil, Nigel Dougherty, Principal of Ebrington Barry Mulholland, Regional Managing Director, Education Authority, Jessica Smallwoods, the youngest P1 pupil, and Irene Stone, Vice-Principal. INLS2215-111KM

“This cross sectoral enhancement of all the facilities at primary, post primary and third level education, is something not to be missed and will have benefits for all, improving our attractiveness to inward investment, creating jobs and wealth for all of the people of our city.”

Foyle DUP MLA Gary Middleton said it was an historic day and a further step to improve the quality of educational facilities in the Waterside.

Visit the Sentinel website for a slideshow of images.