New Build Journey

Our New Build Journey

September 2015

Felix O’Hare & Co Ltd were awarded the contract to construct the new building for Castle Tower School designed by Isherwood and Ellis Architects.

The site which is located behind The Seven Towers Leisure Centre was cleared at the start of September and the building foundations have started!

More updates to follow…

WP_20150907_003[1] Taken on 07-09-2015 WP_20150907_004[1] Taken on 07-09-2015 WP_20150914_001 photo taken 14-09-2015 diggers at reduced levels 2 story section WP_20150915_001 Photo taken 15-09-2015 shows diggers reducing levels along the footprint of the 2 story building. WP_20150928_005 Photo taken 28-09-2015 shows foundation excavation and trench fill within section 2 K S 1 wing and K S 2 wing WP_20150930_002 Photo taken 30-09-2015 shows excavated foundation ready to recieve lean mix concrete in section 2 KS 1 and 2 wing


November 2015

Foundations of the New School are almost complete and the KS1 & 2 walls are being constructed.

The two story steel frame sections are due on site any day now…

WP_20151001_002 Photo taken 01-10-2015 shows sub-structure blockwork commencing to the gable end of KS1 wing section 1. WP_20151006_001 Photo taken 06-10-2015shows concrete operatives placing concrete pour two section 2 KS 2 wing WP_20151012_004 Photo taken 13-10-2015 shows drainage men working at internal drainage to KS1 wing. WP_20151020_004 Photo taken 20-10-2015 shows Bricklayers working in section 2 KS2 wing on curved section. WP_20151022_005 Photo taken 22-10-2015 shows the frist section of hollow core slab in place to the KS1 wing west. WP_20151028_002 Photo taken on the 28-10-2015 shows bolt box in position to the North end of the 2 storey building for supporting the steel stanctions. WP_20151104_010 Photo taken 04-11-2015 shows the last section of sub-structure being built to KS1 and 2 wings. WP_20151111_001 Photo taken on the 11-11-2015 shows the first section of super-structure at KS1 wing commence on site internal wall setting out can be seen WP_20151119_001 Photo taken on the 19-11-2015 shows the DPM and insulation going down in the hydro pool basement. WP_20151123_001


January 2016

The steel frame sections are nearly all complete, showing the true scale of the new building for Castle Tower School. The builders have been battling with the winter storms to keep the build on schedule and in the next few weeks the roof on the Post Primary wing will be in place!

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February 2016

With the majority of the steel frame in place the roof on the double story section of the building is nearly complete. The view from the top has to be one of the best in Ballymena with 360 degree views of the Town and surrounding area. In the coming weeks the final steel sections of the build which will include a hydrotherapy pool, climbing wall and large multi sports hall will be constructed.

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March 2016

With the steel frame now nearly complete and the two storey section with a roof in place the true scale of Castle Tower’s new school is easy to see and beyond the imagination! The final sections to join the Sport Facilities and Hydro Therapy Pool to the rest of the building will be all be in place before the end of April.
More updates coming soon…

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April 2016

A large section of the primary wing now has the roof complete and all the steel sections are in place in the two-storey wing. Some areas of the building have the window frames in place and over the next few weeks the windows and large glazed sliding doors will be installed. Check out the aerial drone footage video in the gallery page and on YouTube to see how the build has gone so far!

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June 2016

The majority of the roof is now complete and all the windows are nearly installed. Some of the glazing in the new school is coloured glass including bright blues, greens and purples. The steel work between the primary and secondary wings has been erected and the construction of the roof between the two sections is about the begin.

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July & August 2016

Over the summer Felix O’Hare have made fantastic progress. The building is nearly fully water tight and the inside of the building is starting to take shape. The underfloor heating is in place in nearly all classrooms, walls are being plastered and thousands of meters of power and data cabling has been installed.

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September & October 2016

With the new building for Castle Tower School now watertight the plasterers have been able to tackle the vast array of walls throughout the building. The outside walls of the single storey primary wing have been rendered in bright white with different coloured towers for each classroom. The carpark with over 200 spaces is taking shape at the front of the school.

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November 2016

The majority of the ground floor is now plastered and the underfloor heating pipes are nearly all covered and ready to be turned on for the first time next month. The main carpark is nearly complete, constructed from self draining brick paving. The large central section connecting the Primary and Secondary wings of the building is about to be clad in the same translucent paneling that surrounds the state of the art PE and Hydrotherapy block.

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December 2016

For the first time the majority of the new building for Castle Tower School is no longer covered in scaffolding. The colourful towers dominate the design with bright white render and grey framed windows. The carpark spaces are complete and the tarmac road surfaces will be poured soon. On the inside the building continues to impress all of it’s visitors with large classrooms and even larger shared spaces.

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January 2017

Castle Tower’s new building is coming towards its final 6 months of construction. The colourful fixed furniture in the classrooms are being installed and the final touches to the outside of the building are being put in place. Over the next few months the builders will concentrate on the inside of the building, installing intelligent lighting, heat recovery systems, state of the art IT and sensory equipment.

February 2017

The short month of February has been a very busy time on site. For the first time the highly efficient automatic classroom lighting has been turned on in the primary wing and shared space areas. One of the biggest changes on the outside was the installation of the canopy at the front entrance of the building which will keep the pupils and staff dry in the winter months while they get into or out of busses and taxis.

March & April 2017

At the start of March the Board of Governors visited the new build for a tour with the soon to retire EA project manager Paul Brownlees. All where throughly impressed by the progress that the builders have made and remarked on the attention to detail shown by Felix O’Hare. Major works on site have included installation of vinyl classroom floors, fixed furniture and all remaining internal doors. The Board of Governors and staff at Castle Tower School would like to thank Paul for all his help and support over the past four years and look forward to inviting him back to the new school in September.

May 2017

The primary wing of the new building is nearly complete and ready to be furnished. A lot of progress has been made around the outside of the building and the internal courtyards, including the installation of specialist play equipment and water features. An exciting addition this month was the climbing wall which is located in the sports wing of the building.