DROMORE Central Primary School is preparing to take the next step on its long road to a replacement school.

In the meantime, with the new term underway, the school is still awaiting the arrival of its latest mobile classroom.

Principal, Mr. Jim Cochrane, this week confirmed receipt of recently granted planning permission for the proposed newbuild at Mossvale Road.

The school's next move, he said, was to embark on the tendering process to appoint a contractor for the project.

"We will be approaching the education department with a view to approval for beginning the tendering process and it will be up to the department to give us the go-ahead," he said.Long delays in securing planning permission saw Dromore Central lose out to schools further down the road in respect of tendering etc. when Stormont Education Minister Caitriona Ruane recently announced a list of 14 school newbuild projects to get a start with 13m allotted to the department in the Executive's June Monitoring Round.

If Dromore Central gets a green light on tendering it will at least be a step in the right direction for a project now six years in the pipeline, but as things stand there is still no available funding to build the new school.

Meanwhile, as expected, Central has yet to receive a promised mobile classroom, one of two needed across this year and next to accommodate its burgeoning enrolment.

The Leader reported early last month that Mr. Cochrane, until then unsure if a mobile would be made available at all, had received word from the Southern Education and Library Board that it had secured funding for the classroom.

He said at the time, though, that with the Board having only then received confirmation of the funding, there was some doubt as to whether the mobile would be in place in time for the new term.

"The new mobile is not in place yet," he said this week. "Work to install it hasn't started, but it is being fabricated.

"We thought this was likely to be the case, but we have managed to accommodate the class in the meantime."