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First look of £44m investment in Education and Leisure in Tonyrefail

As part of the significant investment in 21stCentury standard facilities for the new Tonyrefail 3-19 school, the primary element continues to make excellent progress towards completion this summer. However, the secondary element of the new school will now be completed by spring 2019, the Council has confirmed.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is investing £44m in Education and Leisure in Tonyrefail, to provide pupils with learning environments fit for the 21stCentury. Tonyrefail Comprehensive and Tonyrefail Primary will become a 3-19 school on the current secondary site. New 21st Century primary and secondary buildings are being constructedwhile the existing Grade-II Listed Victorian building is being sympathetically remodelled. Modern glass walkways will link the Listed building with the new secondary building.

Excellent progress has been made with the primary building, which will be completed during mid-June 2018, on programme. The school will receive new furniture and will be set-up in July and August with curriculum materials from the current primary school. Pupils will be introduced to their new school by the end of term, to ensure their transition into the new building can take place in September, as planned.

However, the secondary part of the development will now be completed in March 2019. This is due to pressures cause by periods of winter weather experienced this year. Also, unforeseen complex and sensitive issues have arisen in relation to the restoration of the Listed building – with specialist commissions required over a number of bespoke building materials. The Council has worked closely with Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service, to resolve these issues.

Therefore, the current arrangements for secondary age pupils will remain in place this September, with pupils moving into the renovated Listed building in spring 2019. However, this will provide primary pupils and staff with a settling in period on site from the beginning of term to Spring 2019, while the secondary element of the development is being completed.

Councillor Joy Rosser, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said:

“The community of Tonyrefail is benefitting from a £44m investment to transform its current Education and Leisure provision. This is part of a wider £85m investment by #RCTinvest and the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools and Education Programme, to provide the best learning environments for Rhondda and Tonyrefail pupils.

“Works have progressed very well on site with the primary element, which will see pupils introduced to their new classrooms in the current summer term to ensure their transition is completed as seamlessly as possible in September 2018. The impressive new building has been constructed and will be fully-furnished in July.

“The secondary element – due to the complexity and sensitivity of undertaking work on a Listed building combined with the inclement weather – is now set for completion in spring 2019. This does, however, provide an opportunity for staff and pupils of the primary element to settle in their new surroundings, before the secondary element joins them on site six months later.

“The Council is committed to ensuring the secondary age pupils – and in particular those in key examination years – face no disruption to their studies. The 3-19 ‘all through’ school will still be established at the start of the 2018/19 academic year, and provides an exciting long-term future for education in the area.”

As part of the £44m investment, Tonyrefail Leisure Centre has received new parking, an ‘all weather’ 3G sports pitch and on-site classrooms – for the benefit of pupils and the wider community.

An additional exciting project, joint funded by the Welsh Government, will see a new Flying Start and pre/after school club building being developed as part of the primary element, which will be available in September.