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Construction Firm Wins £7.8 Million Brief for New Welsh-Medium Primary School

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Morgan Sindall Construction has won a £7.8 million contract to add a new primary and nursery school at the site of a Welsh-medium comprehensive school in Pontypool, for Torfaen Borough County Council.

Located on Folly Road in Trevethin, Pontypool, Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw is currently home to 977 pupils aged 11-18. Once complete, the new build will provide spaces for 210 primary-school students, as well as nursery facilities for 30 full-time equivalent three- and four-year olds.

The local authority has commissioned the new build as a way to increase the number of Welsh-speaking primary schools available in Pontypool. Initially, the school will open as a ‘seedling school’, with a nursery and reception class only and then growing each year.

Funding for the scheme has come entirely from the Welsh Government, as part of their 21st Century Schools and Colleges Programme. In 2016, the Welsh Government unveiled plans to achieve 1 million Welsh-language speakers by 2050.

Plans for the main building outline a two-storey, 2,000 square metre building with nine general purpose classrooms. Outside will be an MUGA (multi-use games area) court for physical activity, as well as a wildlife habitat area for learning, an informal play area and amenity grass areas. There will also be a car park with 34 standard spaces and seven for disabled-use.

The project is targeting a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating for sustainability and will have a green roof with layers of vegetation to act as a natural insulation method and enable a sustainable drainage design. This will be complemented by a ‘rain garden’; a depression in the ground that is then filled with plants and wildlife to help with water filtration.

Given the live nature of the site, construction will be carried out under strict guidelines as set by the Construction Leadership Council and Morgan Sindall Construction, in order to ensure a safe working delivery during COVID-19. The site has also been registered on the track and trace scheme.

Construction began in early January and is planned to complete on the project in March 2022.

Rob Williams, area director for Morgan Sindall Construction, said:

“We are proud to have been selected to deliver this new primary school and nursery for the council. It is an important investment in the education offering for the local area and, importantly, will support teaching in Welsh.”

“The new building will reflect the Welsh government’s desire for modern, 21st century campuses by improving Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw secondary school with state-of-the-art teaching spaces and a focus on sustainable design.”