A sod cutting ceremony to officially mark the beginning a new school build for St Joseph’s High School in Crossmaglen took place on Wednesday.
The project represents an overall investment of £19.6 million by the Department of Education.
It has been 16 years since St Joseph’s High School first made an application for a new-build.
Work began in earnest in June, in a move widely welcomed by the school and community.
‘We never gave up hope’: Work to start on new build St Joseph’s High in Crossmaglen
Speaking at Wednesday’s sod-cutting event Education Minister Peter Weir, said: “I welcome this £19.6m investment which represents a significant milestone for St Joseph’s High School.
“Once completed this new school will provide much needed education benefits for pupils, staff, teachers, parents and for the wider community.”
The construction project will see the completion of a new school building, sports facilities, car parking, and bus set down areas.
The Minister continued: “Ongoing investment in our schools estate is essential if we are to continue to provide a high quality education for all our young people. As well as the investment in our schools estate it also helps the local economy and secures construction jobs.
“Schools are very much the hub of any community and this major investment will create many positive outcomes.
Acknowledging the work of the school and its stakeholders in bringing the project to this stage the Minister concluded: “I would like to thank everyone involved in this project for their hard work and commitment in getting this project to this stage.
“I wish you every success as you embark on this new chapter for your school and I look forward to returning, in the not too distant future, to see the new school building standing on this site.”
Principal Marie Millar stated: “We can’t wait until we get the building we deserve, it has been a long time coming and it is a landmark historical day for the entire school community.”