Banbridge Academy

Southern Education & Library Board

Client: Southern Eastern & Library Board

Completion: June 2011

Value: £16.85m

Project Summary

Banbridge Academy is the largest Grammar School within the SELB portfolio with approximately 1200 pupils and is located within an historical landscaped setting. McAdams sensitive intervention was designed & delivered in 5 phases with approximately 8500m2 new build accommodation and 4500m2 refurbished accommodation within the existing school buildings. An exciting feature was the restoration and re-use of the existing Grade A listed Edenderry House.

The existing school remained fully operational throughout due to the establishment of a large ‘mobiles village’ as part of an enabling works package. The interface between these 2 separate and large contracts required close attention during the master planning of the project to ensure good contractor access to the works whilst also ensuring pupil and staff safety during construction. We took great care in the site planning to retain all the mature trees and protect the existing formal rugby pitches which afforded the school an imposing presence as visitors entered the site. The new build element was carefully concealed behind exiting historic buildings so their considerable size and massing would not dominate the listed building which became the new front entrance.


The Academy is an important landmark building and site within the small market town of Banbridge. We were very conscious that community engagement and support were very important aspects to the success of the scheme. This included:

  • Negotiation with Northern Ireland Environment Agency on scoping and specification of the works within the Grade A Listed Building – Edenderry House. This ensured this important community landmark was retained and enhanced
  • A “school in the community” ethos was discussed and agreed during Community consultation sessions. This focused on ensuring the Sports Hall and Gym could be securely accessed outside school hours which also extended to changing rooms and sports pitches
  • Working around the school curriculum to ensure that constructional phases and work elements were appropriate to support exam times / extra-curricular activities / open nights etc. This also ensure minimal disruption to adjoining residential neighbours.

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