The brand new £40m Ysgol Bae Baglan development has been officially handed over to Neath Port Talbot Council by contractors Bouygues UK.
With half of the funding from the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools and Education Programme and half from Neath Port Talbot Council itself, the state-of-the-art site represents the biggest single investment in school infrastructure in the history of the county borough.
Delivered on time and to budget, the build was managed by the in-house project management team of Neath Port Talbot Council’s Property and Regeneration section.
The Council worked closely with Bouygues UK throughout the construction phase to engage local businesses in the opportunities afforded by such a major project.
Contracts totalling over £15m were awarded to local businesses based in the Neath Port Talbot and Swansea Bay area. In addition to this, companies based elsewhere in Wales secured over £17m-worth of work, meaning over 90% of the contracts were awarded to businesses in Wales.
Ysgol Bae Baglan will offer the latest technology to revolutionise the way teachers and students interact, bringing 21st century experiences and opportunities to the classroom and better preparing students to live in tomorrow’s world.
In the classroom pupils will access tablets, PC’s and Macs to use digital notebook software and storytelling apps to create interactive reports. Biometric processes will be used to support cashless catering, library software, and registration systems.
Parents can keep up to date through the school website and social media, and via email and mobile messaging, while the traditional paper student planner will be replaced by an online app.
Outdoor facilities at the school include playground areas, grassed and all-weather synthetic pitches and an athletics track.
Both working and social spaces have been designed to promote a positive effect on behaviour and attitude, and on well-being.
The school’s design also enables local residents, community groups and organisations to securely access and use the sports facilities as well as performance spaces, meeting rooms and recreation facilities for academic and vocational purposes.
The new 1,500 place campus integrates primary and secondary phase education from 3-16 years in an ‘all through’ approach. It replaces four existing schools: Cwrt Sart Community School, Glan Afan and Sandfields Comprehensive schools and Traethmelyn Primary.
Neath Port Talbot Council Leader Cllr Ali Thomas OBE said:
“This fantastic new school facility is one we can all be immensely proud of and I would like to commend the efforts of all those involved in its construction.”
“The Council is committed to both providing the best possible educational opportunities for our young people and to maximising the benefits to the local area of major investment projects. With the support of our partners, Ysgol Bae Baglan has delivered on both fronts.”
“This is a truly inspirational place in which to learn and teach, delivered through working in partnership with the Welsh Government and contractors Bouygues UK.”
Chris Stevens, Regional Managing Director of Bouygues UK’s Central, West & Wales business said,
“We are very proud to have been involved in the creation of Ysgol Bae Baglan, and deliver a 21st century facility and an exciting new learning environment for staff and pupils alike. We are equally proud of the contribution our involvement in this project has made to the local community and economy”.
Bae Baglan will open its doors to students when the 2016-17 academic year begins, in early September.