Education Minister challenged over Strule Shrared Education Campus
Sinn Féin MP Órfhlaith Begley has met with Education Minister Peter Weir to discuss progress on the Strule Shared Education Campus in Omagh.
The West Tyrone MP met with the Education Minister alongside MLAs Catherine Kelly and Declan McAleer.
Órfhlaith Begley said:
“We sought this meeting to press the minister to progress the construction of this important project. We were re-assured by the minister that delivering the campus is one of his top priorities given that it is a pioneering project of regional significance.
"I reiterated that the continued delays are extremely frustrating and there is an onus on the department to maintain the current school sites so that they do not fall into a state of disrepair.
“Unfortunately due to delays forced by procurement issues, projected costs of the entire project are now estimated at £215m which has required an addendum to the business case.
“However, the minister says he is confident he will be in a position to sign off on this within a few weeks and is hopeful construction work will begin next year with a final completion target for 2024.
"Given the anticipated completion date has been delayed there is an onus on the council and the Executive to take this into consideration for the future planning for Omagh town centre.
“The delivery of this ground-breaking project will see the schools having state-of-the-art facilities while also enabling pupils to benefit from the opportunities provided through enhanced collaboration and sharing.
“The Strule Shared Education Campus will bring social, economic and most importantly educational benefits for our young people. This will also help regenerate Omagh town and the wider district.
“Sinn Féin will continue to press Minister Weir to ensure there are no unnecessary delays.”