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  • Foyle College and Ebrington PS & Nursery
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    Foyle College and Ebrington PS & Nursery

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  • Client Foyle College & Western Board Education Authority
  • Location Derry / Londonderry
  • Duration 28 months
  • Completion December 2017
  • Value £27m

Foyle College and Ebrington PS & Nursery

Heron Bros was the main contractor on the construction of the new Foyle College and Ebrington Primary and Nursery Schools in Derry / Londonderry.  The £27m project has enabled the co-location of Foyle College and Ebrington PS & Nursery in separate new-build replacement schools at the former Clooney Army Base site. Historically the site was the ‘home’ of American Navy, and played a key role in the Allied Forces’ battle plans in World War II.

High-tech education facilities were delivered for the new grammar school providing 13,056m² of permanent teaching accommodation, grass pitches, five synthetic tennis courts and a 3G pitch for a capacity of 850 students. Ebrington Primary School is 3,050m² in area and provides 16 classrooms for a capacity of 440 pupils. The separate nursery unit is 328m² and caters for a capacity of 60 pupils.   

The works were programmed to be completed in sections, with the Primary School and Nursery and their associated external works completed first. Phase one was completed in February 2017, with the primary school and nursery being occupied with staff and pupils in March 2017. Phase two was completed in December 2017 with staff and students occupying Foyle College in January 2018.

The £27m project was awarded the ‘Most Considerate Site 2017 for £10m – £50m Projects’ at the Considerate Constructors Scheme National Site Awards. The site was acknowledged for demonstrating the very highest level of consideration in respect of the community, environment and workforce.

Foyle College

Foyle College involved the construction of a new 2 and part 3 storey educational facility which is linked to the single storey Ebrington Primary School.  The College includes general and specialist classrooms, public reception facilities, administrative offices, library, sports hall/gymnasium/fitness suite, changing facilities, catering facilities, locker facilities, storage, circulation and other ancillary/services accommodation etc. 

The accommodation consists of: 

– Foundations 

– Steel frame 

– In-situ and precast concrete flooring 

– Masonry concrete panels in pre-finished render 

– Facing brick and feature natural limestone rainscreen cladding 

– Aluminium window and curtain walling systems 

– Rooflights 

– Low pitched roofs built up metal systems covered in single membrane and paving system 

– Mechanical & Electrical Installations 

Ebrington Primary School

Ebrington Primary School involved the construction of a 16 classroom and associated ancillary accommodation in a single storey building of load bearing masonry with a timber trussed roof construction.  The Primary School is linked to Foyle College sharing both the kitchen and energy centre facilities. 

Ebrington Nursery School 

Adjacent to the Primary School there is a separate Nursery unit of similar construction/finishes to the Primary School.  The Nursery unit provides 52 places in two classrooms with associated facilities. Externally both the Primary School and Nursery are finished in pre-coloured render walls with a slate type pitched roof/single membrane roofing system to flat roofs.  Fenestration comprises aluminium window and curtain walling systems/rooflights. 


The enabling works for the project required major civil engineering earth and preparation works for the construction of three new educational buildings and associated groundworks and hard and soft hardscaping. The site required a significant level reduction and rock excavation and significant fill to accommodate the new school accommodation and siteworks. 

Works to the site included:

– 120,000m³ of inert material excavated

– 80,000m³ used as fill onsite

– 40,000m³ removed from site to a licensed waste facility

– 4,500 lorry loads of waste material transferred and managed by the Heron Bros project team

– 60,000m³ of rock extracted

– 35,000m³ rock used as fill on site

– 25,000m³ of rock crushed and processed on site to be used as hard standing.

Other siteworks included hard and soft play areas, MUGA pitch, including earthworks, civil infrastructures and utilities, car-parking, roads, footpaths and landscaping. Works also took place outside the boundary in creating of new access and egress points. 

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Project Design

Concept Architect: Isherwood & Ellis Architect: Isherwood & Ellis Services Engineer: BDP Structural Engineer: Mott MacDonald

Key Features

  • ‘Most Considerate Site 2017 for £10m – £50m Projects’ at the Considerate Constructors Scheme National Site Awards.
  • 38 Acre Site
  • 16,434m2 gross internal floor area
  • Brown field site; issues with Asbestos/Oil tanks/Mare tail/Salmonberry and existing services.
  • Structural steel frame and precast and in-situ floor slabs.
  • Brick/Block/Stone Façade with curtain walling throughout
  • Primary school was single storey with trussed roof and concrete roof tiles.
  • Foyle College has a basement and 1, 2 and 3 storey sections.
  • Foyle roof was principally flat and covered with a Bauder Roofing system
  • Flashings to fascia/soffit were powder coated aluminium.
  • External Render is Weber.
  • Combined plant room and kitchen facilities.
  • Playing fields; 4 rugby pitches/1 practice pitch/2 hockey pitches (Astro/shale) 2 cricket creases/soccer pitch EP School.
  • Large open spaces (Agora) throughout the college with rooflights creating a lot of natural light through the building.
  • Underfloor heating throughout the entire building.
  • Several terraces that have spectacular views of the city and over the playing fields.
  • Shortlisted finalist for RICS Awards 2018 in Regeneration category
  • Shortlisted finalist for RICS Awards 2018 in Community Benefit category


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"It's just indescribable, words fail me. We have 25 acres of grounds, a maximum capacity of 850, a fantastic music suite, a sports hall, an arts suite, state of the art classrooms and technology that's ready for the 2020's never mind 2018.”

Patrick AllenPrincipal of Foyle College