Mill Strand Parents’ Council hosted a public engagement meeting at Portrush Town Hall on Thursday 2nd June to share ideas about the future relocation of the school.
Over 30 people attended on the night to hear the Mill Strand vision for the school rebuilding being the perfect opportunity to create a community campus which could benefit the north coast community all year round.
Mill Strand Head, Philip Reid, opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and thanking them for coming out on such a sunny evening. Philip explained that the Department of Education has given the go ahead to start a process of identifying a suitable site for relocation, or opportunities to extend on the existing site, whichever is found to be most feasible.
Mill Strand parent, Gemma Reid, gave a short presentation explaining how the potential investment from a variety of funding sources, could help the regeneration of Portrush. She outlined the Mill Strand vision to bring the school to the heart of the community, with shared community facilities such as sports amenities, community café, and closer collaboration between schools, all benefitting local business.
Attendees were given the opportunity to discuss and contribute to the school’s ideas. The reaction from the event was positive towards the idea of the school being a community hub. Feedback showed that people were excited that the new school could contribute something ‘extra’ to the local community.
Other feedback said that a pooling of resources between the schools could do “so much more together than any one school could do alone”.
It was felt that an integrated school, at the heart of the community, could attract families to live in the area which would help local businesses, and create further employment.
One commentator said “Making Portrush a beacon for improving integration in our country – we could be famous for more than just tourism and golf”.