A historic merger between two Limavady secondary schools look to be moving ever closer with plans in train for an £8 million ‘shared education campus’.
Limavady High School and St Mary’s, one predominantly Protestant and the other predominantly Catholic in make-up, have until March 31 to submit a formal expression of interest in making the move after proposals to erect ten new shared eduaction campuses were announced.
Both school principal’s, Mary McCloskey of St Mary’s and Shane Lavery from Limavady High recently made a presentation to Limavady Borough Council outlining their ambitions for the merger which were warmly received by local councillors.
The move has followed on from an announcement that the two schools, which are already next to each other in the town’s Irish Green Street, were planning to build a physical connection in the form of a ‘unity bridge’ between the schools.
Speaking at Limavady Borough Council, Mr Lavery said: “Things have moved on significantky in the short space of time since October. We have recentky had a visit from from Education Minister John O’Dowd and the Chair of the Education Committee at Stormont, Mervyn Storey who both put their full weight behind the project for a ‘unity bridge’.
And, Mrs McCloskey said: “Limavady High school and St Mary’s are putting in a bid for a shared campus. We have all the work done for that and we are just waiting to send that off. They are going to look positively at our project. We are working somewhere in the region of £8.5 million.”
Plans for a new centre between both schools are pinned on the development of STEM subjects-Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
“This centre, which will be accessed by all, will have dedicated technology and science rooms.It will be of benefit to the pupils, firstly of Limavady High School and St Mary’s, but also pupils from other schools,” said Pricipal Lavery.
Sinn Fein Councillor Anee Brolly said: “I’m making no apology for what I say-the people of Limavady and and the school’s have been trailblazers. I am very happy with what is being proposed here.”