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Competition: Forge Integrated Primary School, Belfast

Knockbreda High School site in Belfast
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Northern Ireland’s Education Authority is recruiting a design team to create a £7.5 million home for Forge Integrated Primary School (IPS) in south Belfast

The team chosen for the minimum £450,000 contract will draw up plans for a 14-class educational campus on the site of the former Knockbreda High School (pictured) a short distance from Forge’s existing 1.1ha home.

The school is one of 16 similar establishments that will benefit from £43 million of central government funding to deliver improved facilities for integrated education in Northern Ireland whereby children of different faiths are taught together rather than separately.

In its brief, the authority says: ‘Forge IPS’s existing site and accommodation falls considerably short of the areas recommended in the department’s building handbook for a new 14-class base primary school, (the current building is 100 per cent temporary accommodation). The area of the existing site is 1.1ha, the minimum area needed for a 14 class base school is 1.51ha.

‘There are 12 classrooms and a multipurpose hall providing accommodation for 304 pupils in 2014/15. There are no resource areas, small group rooms or a library. [A] development proposal for the relocation of the new 14-class school to the old Knockbreda High School site located at 43 Upper Knockbreda Road, Belfast BT6 0NE, was approved on 16 April 2018 by the Permanent Secretary for Northern Ireland.’

Forge IPS is in the south of Belfast, close to the River Lagan. The integrated co-educational primary school saw enrolment numbers increase from 250 to 420 three years ago and is now no longer large enough.

The school will soon relocate to a new site around 1km to the south-east, formerly occupied by Knockbreda High School.

The winning team will develop plans for the new £7.5 million school from RIBA Stage 2 to 7, taking into consideration all statutory legislation and guidelines employed by the Department of Education.

Participating teams will be expected to include an architect, quantity surveyor, mechanical and electrical services engineer, civil and structural engineer and principal designer.

The deadline for applications is 3pm, 29 June.

How to apply

View the contract notice for more information

Contact details

Gerard Fitzsimons
Education Authority NI
1 Hospital Road
BT79 0AW

Tel: +44 2882353389
Email: gerard.fitzsimons@eani.org.uk 

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