Belfast Boys’ Model School

Belfast Education & Library Board

Client: Belfast Education & Library Board

Completion: September 2010

Value: £27.7m

Project Summary

This award-winning new build 3 storey school provided best in class school accommodation for an all boy pupil population of 905. Commissioned & delivered via PFI design competition the project was designed and delivered whilst the existing school remained fully operational on the existing restricted site. The split-level design successfully resolved very challenging site levels whilst also affording pre-planned expansion as the school grows. The design also afforded clever phasing which reduced the construction programme by 18 months with the savings being re-directed towards an energy efficient heat recovery ventilation system for each classroom. This, together with exemplar use of natural light, provided the optimum teaching environment. The project includes the full range of teaching spaces however a stand-out feature was the 810m2 sports hall which facilitated a full range of international grade indoor sports. The exceptional design and finish of this school has been acknowledged by the teachers, pupils, parents, and Education Authority whilst also being recognised by the following awards:

  • CEF Achieving Excellence Awards 2011 – Overall Winner (Best Project in Northern Ireland)
  • CEF Achieving Excellence Awards 2011 – Best Education Project

Additional design services provided by McAdam included, Universal Access Auditor and CDM-C.


The vision for the Boys’ Model School was to create a centre of learning excellence in the heart of the North Belfast community. This “school in the community” ethos was reflected in the design which focused on enhanced learning provision for the pupils whilst affording members of the local community access to better sports facilities and adult learning courses outside school hours. Additional facilities included a fully integrated youth centre incorporating a community theatre with back of house change and rehearsal spaces. This promoted the school as a centre of excellence for drama and performing arts.

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