Construction phase of new Welsh Medium Primary School in Rhydyfelin

Written by on 22nd July 2022

The first work has begun on site towards delivering an exciting redevelopment of the Heol y Celyn Primary School site in Rhydyfelin – investing in a state-of-the-art Welsh Medium primary school in partnership with Welsh Government.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has appointed ISG as the contractor to deliver the scheme, which will see the new school opening at the start of the 2024/25 academic year. This is one of the Council’s major investment projects currently being progressed via Welsh Government’s Sustainable Learning for Communities Programme – and part of the £72m investment across Greater Pontypridd alongside key projects for existing schools in Beddau, Hawthorn and Cilfynydd by 2024.

The two-story, 540-pupil school will have 16 classrooms along with multi-use rooms, shared areas, offices, toilets, changing spaces, a hall, a kitchen and storage/plant spaces. The development will aim to achieve Net Zero carbon in operation, with a number of innovative technologies included in the build such as air-source heat pumps, rain-water harvesting and photovoltaic cells on its roof utilising solar power energy.

Improved outdoor play areas will include a new Multi Use Games Area and a grass sports pitch for community use – utilising the site of the existing school building, which will be demolished once the new school is built. In total, 41 parking spaces and six coach spaces will be included, with the site accessed from its north-eastern corner (directly from Holly Street) via a ramped access.

The contractor’s first day of work on site was Monday, July 18, with the first activity on site to set up a secure line of fencing to separate the works area (on the field to the west of the school) from the existing school building. The safe operation of the school, with no disruption to pupils’ learning when they return in September, is a key priority for the Council and its contractor. A separate site entrance on Lime Street is being used by construction traffic.

Councillor Rhys Lewis, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Youth Participation and the Welsh Language, said:

“The Council’s contractor has now started establishing the works area on the wider Heol y Celyn Primary School site – representing a major landmark to deliver multi-million pound education and community facilities in Rhydyfelin. This is just one part of our ongoing £72m investment in 21st Century facilities for local schools across the Greater Pontypridd area, which will be delivered in 2024.

“This new primary school will provide state-of-the-art facilities to improve and expand upon the current Welsh Medium primary offer, welcoming Welsh Medium pupils from Heol y Celyn Primary School and Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Pont Sion Norton upon completion. This project will contribute to the outcomes outlined in the Council’s new Welsh in Education Strategic Plan, and Welsh Government’s ‘Cymraeg 2050’ goal of a million Welsh speakers.

“With the work now underway, the Council’s contractor will make important initial progress in the summer holiday – and when pupils return to school in September the top priority will be to make progress with no disruption to pupils’ learning. The works area is clearly defined on a separate section of the school site, with construction traffic also using a separate access from pupil pick-up and drop-off areas, and the main entrance for the school for families.

“The development will also aim to achieve high standards in relation to our Climate Change commitments, with the new building designed to be Net Zero carbon while in operation. I’m looking forward to seeing the wider school site being transformed over the coming weeks and months, as the Council and Welsh Government deliver upon their commitment to invest in a brand new education facility that will be at the heart of the community for years to come.”

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