Strule Shared Education Campus

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Education – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:00 pm on 18th October 2021.

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Photo of Michelle McIlveen Michelle McIlveen DUP 2:00 pm, 18th October 2021

I thank the Member for his question. The estimated overall cost has risen from £169 million in 2016 to £228 million in 2021. The 2016 figure did not, however, include an allowance for inflation. The increase is due largely to increases in building and site-work costs and the potential impact of construction price inflation in future years. The additional cost is due to a number of reasons, including costs exceptional to Strule for site preparation works to transform a former military base into a site fit for schools; significant external roadworks; a changing pavilion; and a maintenance building. The designs also provide for teaching accommodation that is deemed to be within acceptable tolerances and for more ancillary accommodation that is deemed justified educationally and functionally than would be provided for five stand-alone post-primary schools.

To ensure that the campus promotes genuine sharing, equality and full inclusivity for all, the needs of SEN pupils were incorporated into the design from the outset. While that has added to the area size and costs, the most cost-effective design has been developed and can ensure that the campus functions smoothly, provides optimum facilities and supports learning for all students who use it.