Project Refresh Wallace High School

Project Refresh

Written by | Frontpage, News

Founded in 1880 by Sir Richard Wallace, our School moved to its current location on Clonevin Park in the early 1970s.  The 1970s, well maintained, extended and modernised building sits in majestic grounds with sports pitches, green areas and planting to include a range of flowers, shrubs and trees.

A decade of ongoing decarbonisation of our site and our practices continues.  The installation of LED lights throughout, our use of iPads to reduce reliance on paper and printing, energy tracking systems and the recent installation of solar panels and EV chargers set the scene for a deeper retrofit: “Project Refresh”.

“Our energy tracking culture, expertly facilitated by Malcolm Emery MD of Radius Energy, opened my eyes, 4 years ago, to the wasted energy and the carbon footprint we were unconsciously ignoring,” reflects, Deborah O’Hare, Principal of Wallace.  “Once we tracked our energy use with Malcolm’s generous and expert input, we navigated the path to a Carbon Reduction Plan.” 

The Wallace High School Project Refresh

“Project Refresh” begins in June 2024 and will be delivered in 3 x 1 year phases.  The results of the 3 year programme will deliver, over a 25 year period, a saving of 50 million kWh, almost 10,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions and £6.23 million.

“Project Refresh” will also deliver:

  • a reduced reliance on fossil fuels;
  • a sector leading School (educational buildings are the third largest consumer in the NI Public Sector);
  • a beacon of good practice for educating current and future generations of Wallace students;
  • a more energy efficient building with a hybrid heating system through the introduction of air source heat pumps and
  • an improved building design and core structures delivered through thermal insulation.

Deborah O’Hare, Principal of The Wallace High School, further clarified as follows:

“Our School values of Commitment, Opportunity, Respect and Excellence are driving the Environmental and Social Governance of Wallace.  Wallace will be sector leading as a public sector workplace and educational establishment to undergo a deep retrofit.  

By choosing not to knock down and rebuild our School we are, in turn, not adding to the carbon which has been here since the 1970s.  By retrofitting our building we will get a long-term gain, our building’s life will be extended by decades, and we are reducing our carbon footprint.”

Mrs O’Hare further added that the School seeks to provide an environmental focus to its education programme annually in June and student groups compete regularly in a range of environmental academic competitions. “The Green Economy will be an important driver in the success of Northern Ireland and wider.  

At Wallace we seek to inspire, inform and educate our young people on innovative environmental practice in action. Our School buildings and our classrooms, I know, are educating future socially and environmentally conscious leaders.  We lead at Wallace through our actions.”


Deborah O’Hare

May 2024

Last modified: May 28, 2024