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Back to school delay as building not ready

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Back to school delay as building not ready thumbnail Work crews at the school yesterday

THE opening of the new 6.8million school in Banbridge has been delayed.

Pupils were due to start the new term in the brand new St Mary's Primary School building next Monday (4 September).

However, the school will now not open until Monday, 11 September due to "unforeseen delays" with the project.

It means pupils will have an extra week off school to allow time for the building to be finished.

The school announced the news on its webpage last week saying "due to a number of unforeseen delays with finalising our move into new school we are unable open on Monday, 4 September".

"The school will now open on Monday, 11 September.

"Nursery and Primary 1 induction meetings are postponed until the week beginning Monday, 4 September. Further information will be sent by text to parents and will be posted on the school website and PTA Facebook page.

"Our apologies for the change in dates but this is out of our control," the school said in a statement.

The school had temporarily relocated to the back of St Patrick's College on the Scarva Road in June 2015 while construction of the new school took place.

The state-of-the-art school was due to open to pupils this September.

It is understand that an issue has arose with the contractors who will not permit parents on site this week however the principal, Des O'Hagan, has advised the school's Parent Teacher Association (PTA) that "staff will be on site from today (Tuesday) and they will be tasked with ensuring that all new parents are aware of this unfortunate and unwelcome development".

While parents have understood that this issue is "out of the school's control", many have expressed disappointment that they now have to sort out alternative work and childcare arrangements.

One local mum said that "as a mother who has a child heading to nursery, trying to get him prepared but not knowing when he will be going or the school not attempting to contact parents is frustrating".

Another mother was hoping they will be able to hold the meetings in the evening as she is "unable to get time off work at short notice".

"I had originally booked the 30th and 31th off work back in June when I received the letter. I really hope they try to accommodate everyone next week. Hopefully we will hear soon."

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