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A BRIGHT FUTURE FOR ST CECILIA’S AND ST MARY’S IN DERRY CITY – RUANE

4 December, 2008 - by Caitríona Ruane


A BRIGHT FUTURE FOR ST CECILIA'S AND ST MARY'S IN DERRY CITY - RUANE

Education Minister Caitríona Ruane has welcomed the signing of a £38 million capital contract to provide two new girls' colleges in Derry City.

The contract for the Derry Diocesan Public Private Partnership (PPP) Project will provide St Mary's College and St Cecilia's College with new purpose-built accommodation for a total of 1,650 pupils. The contract also provides building maintenance and facilities management for the next 25 years.

The Minister said; "I welcome this important step in signing the contract for St Mary's College and St Cecilia's College in Derry to enable construction to begin immediately. Both schools can now look forward to new purpose-built accommodation with state-of-the-art equipment opening in 2010. This £38 million capital contract is also good news for the local construction industry.

"This Project opens a new exciting chapter in the education of children in Derry City. I would like to thank the Trustees and staff of both schools for the hard work they have put in to reach this milestone. The new facilities will provide the pupils attending these schools with a rewarding educational experience and I look forward to visiting when they are complete."
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The Minister also said the wider schools' building programme must also move ahead while the full implications of a recent legal challenge to the procurement framework for schools major works projects are considered.

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"It is important that the much needed modernisation of the schools estate is not held up for a lengthy period while the High Court judgement on the Major Works Framework is being assessed. In the meantime, the Department of Education is drawing up an alternative procurement approach outside the framework so that we avoid prolonged delays in delivering projects which are ready to enter the procurement stage. This would mean projects could move forward through individual procurement exercises. This approach would also help provide much needed support to the construction industry. The position will be reassessed when the full implications of the Court ruling have been determined."

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