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Permanent Secretary opens new chapter for Shimna College


Dr Mark Browne, Permanent Secretary at the Department of Education joined the Principal and distinguished guests on Monday for the formal sod-cutting ceremony. The construction of the new Shimna College building is well under way. The £28 million build is due for completion in late 2024, providing the school with up-to-date facilities to accommodate Shimna’s inclusive and integrated approach to education.


Speaking at the event, Principal Steve Pagan said: “Our new building has been long awaited and we are incredibly excited with the progress they can see from our windows. Every day brings us closer to our new state-of-the-art school, fully equipped with modern facilities to enable us to educate our students.


“Today is a momentous day for us all. It has been a privilege to reunite the College’s founders, including the first Board of Governors Chair Angela Morgan and Principal Kevin Lambe, and to bring them together with our current Chair Denise Medea and Board Members, as well as staff and students, in marking this important occasion.”


We are committed to ensuring that integrated education continues to be the choice of local people. Our mission to provide a high-quality and holistic education will be significantly enhanced by this exciting project. We will build on the foundations laid for integrated education in Co Down almost 30 years ago.”


He continued: “On a personal level, it’s a great honour to take forward this project which has been in its planning stages for a number of years. We are grateful to the Department of Education for investing in integrated education, which continues to be in great demand. The build is also having a positive impact on our wider community, providing job opportunities in these financially challenging times. I also want to thank the project managers, Hood McGowan Kirk, and Glasgiven Contracts for bringing this project to life.”


“Staff are very much looking forward to getting their hands on their new classrooms and facilities, and to opening our doors to more generations of Shimna students.”

Chair of Governors, Denise Medea, said: “Shimna College has always provided our young people with a safe place to learn, engage and develop. We are a unique school, with an inclusive ethos which we are very proud of.”


Speaking about the new school, Year 8 student Kate Bradley said: “I really enjoy going to Shimna. It’s a great school. My friends and I can’t wait to get into our new building. I’m looking forward to exploring the whole school and especially checking out what the new drama room will look like.”


Please see the Department of Education’s press release here

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