During the event Minister O’Dowd unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion and a blessing was carried out by Parish Priest, Fr Michael O’Dwyer. The works which commenced in November 2011 included the refurbishment of the entrance area, the provision of a new library and new toilet facilities as well as additional resource and storage space. The refurbishment also involved the relocation of the nursery unit to allow it to become a more integral part of the main school building.
Following a tour of the school the Minister said: “It is a pleasure to be in Ballyoran Primary School today to celebrate the completion of their £500,000 refurbishment project. I had previously visited the school in October last year just before the refurbishment works kicked off so I can clearly see just how much of an impact these improvements have made.”
The Minister also commented on the music and dance performance provided by the pupils: “As I visit schools across the north I am continually amazed by the fantastic talent displayed by our children and young people. That talent has been in evidence yet again here today at Ballyoran and I would like to thank the school choir, the instrumental group, the Irish dancers and all the children for their great welcome and the entertainment they have provided.”
“I also welcome the fact that Ballyoran Primary School is represented by many different cultures and nationalities so it was particularly good to hear the beautiful singing from a group of Polish children at the school.”
In conclusion the Minister said: “I would like to thank the school Principal, Richard Woolsey for inviting me to participate in this special event today. As we approach the end of the school year I also want to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of all those involved with Ballyoran Primary School and I hope that all the staff, pupils and their families have a relaxing and enjoyable summer break.”