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Low-cost educational achievements in Ulster

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We appreciated the building study ( AJ 4.11.99) on the Notley Green County Primary School by AHMM and agree that the school does indeed,from your accompanying photographs at least,offer a strong presence on site and will,undoubtedly,be enjoyed by staff,pupils and parents alike.We were intrigued, though,by the figures revealed in the cost summary.The gross school area of1044m 2was built at a total cost of£1.226 million.In simple terms the cost per square metre calculates at £1174.

We thought you might be interested to know that in Northern Ireland we are currently building schools at a square metre cost of£638 or less.We enclose a floor plan ofa building which we have currently on site which was tendered at £1.176 million,excluding school meals,for a gross building area of1930m 2.That is,a similar budget to the Notley Green school,but 1.8 times the floor area and over twice the classroom provision.

Northern Ireland prides itselfon having a high standard ofeducation for its young people and results year on year have been consistently high.Does this have any relationship to building budgets and accommodation provision?

The school plan we illustrate (pictured above) is a replacement 13 classroom school for the first Irish-language medium primary school in the north which has achieved very high examination results for every single year ofits 25 years spent in temporary mobile accommodation.Scheduled completion ofthe project is August 2000.Ciaran Mackel,Mackel & Doherty Architects,Belfast

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