Long-awaited St.Joseph’s new build goes out to tender

February 20, 2017

The long-awaited multi-million pound new build at St. Joseph’s High School in Crossmaglen moved a huge step closer to fruition last week with the development going out to tender.

The state-of-the-art new school is set to change the lives of the local community and is an impressively ambitious scheme with a stunning contemporary design.  At an estimated cost of £14.4 million,  the new build will replace the existing St. Joseph’s School, which opened its doors more than five decades ago, and will accommodate 600 pupils. The work will include the provision of a replacement secondary school and associated external works on the existing St Joseph’s High School site.

Interested contractors have until March 27 to tender for the contract with an appointment expected before the end of the summer for construction to begin in October.  It is estimated the project will take around two years to complete with the target set that the new school will be open for the beginning of the 2019 academic term.

The much anticipated development was one of 16 schools in Northern Ireland earmarked for a “high priority” new build by former Education Minister John O’Dowd back in 2014. Two years on and only one of the new builds has begun, with questions being asked as to when the remaining fifteen would get underway.

Plans were submitted to Newry, Mourne and Down District Council for consideration last October and on Thursday last the Trustees of St Joseph’s invited applications from “suitably experienced contractors who wish to be considered for inclusion in a shortlist of main contractors from which tenders will be sought for the construction of St Joseph’s High School, Crossmaglen.”

The news has been welcomed by the local community, where it is felt the school was in dire need of a new build to accommodate its growing number of pupils.  Excitement is now building amongst pupils, parents and staff with the school set to begin the new school year in pre-construction stage.

The pre-qualification process – which includes minimum standard requirements – are available via email from, marking the subject line ’St Joseph’s High School PQQP Request’.

The deadline for tender applications is 3pm on March 27, and documents must be returned to the quantity surveyor, Edmond Shipway, with an address at Portview House, 80 Dargan Road, Belfast, BT3 9JU.