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Rhydyfelin school welcomes new building with first-class facilities

The Council’s Cabinet Member for Education has visited the fantastic new Welsh Medium primary school building in Rhydyfelin, where pupils and staff have been enjoying the first-class facilities since the start of the school year.

The new building, on the Heol y Celyn Primary site, is part of the Council’s £75.6m investment in education facilities for Greater Pontypridd – with major projects in Hawthorn, Cilfynydd, Rhydyfelin and Beddau being jointly delivered with Welsh Government’s Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme.

Construction of the impressive new building in Rhydyfelin was completed on schedule over the summer, to welcome Heol y Celyn Primary pupils for the new school year. Councillor Rhys Lewis, Cabinet Member for Education, was given a very warm welcome on Wednesday, October 11, when he visited staff and pupils now that they have settled into the new, modern surroundings.

The two-storey building contains a total of 16 classrooms as well as multi-use rooms, shared areas, offices, toilets, changing spaces, a hall, and kitchen and storage/plant spaces. The roof is overlaid with photovoltaic cells to utilise solar power energy – with the development aiming to achieve Net Zero carbon in operation, as part of the Council’s climate change goals and commitments.

Contractor ISG has now started the project’s second phase – to demolish the old school building and deliver new bus/parent drop-off areas, a staff car park, a grass sports pitch and a habitat area. A new Multi Use Games Area and much-improved outdoor areas are already being enjoyed by the school.

All elements of the project will be completed by September 2024 to form the new Welsh Medium primary school, Ysgol Awel Taf – comprising of Welsh Medium pupils from Heol y Celyn Primary and YGG Pont Sion Norton. The English Medium pupils from Heol y Celyn Primary will attend Ysgol Afon Wen, the new 3-16 school opening in Hawthorn from September 2024, which will also benefit from a new teaching block and outstanding new facilities.

Councillor Rhys Lewis, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Youth Participation and the Welsh Language, said: “I was delighted to visit the wonderful new primary school building in Rhyfydelin, and was proud to see yet another new-build in Rhondda Cynon Taf that is making such a positive difference every day. Modern education facilities like these are bringing new opportunities to our young people in their education, thanks to the continued joint investment by the Council and Welsh Government.

“The project in Rhydyfelin is far from the only one that the Council is currently progressing. Within the £75.6m investment for Greater Pontypridd we are also building new facilities for Hawthorn, Cilfynydd and Beddau, to be delivered in the 2024/25 academic year – along with new school buildings for communities in Ferndale, Llantrisant, Church Village, Pontyclun and Glyn-coch.

“It doesn’t seem long ago since I attended the works site for the new school in Rhydyfelin for a ‘steel signing’ ceremony, to celebrate the steel frame of the school being built – and it’s incredible to see how the project has evolved over the past year. I’d like to thank everyone at Heol y Celyn Primary School for their very warm welcome on Wednesday – and it was great to hear first-hand from pupils and staff about how they are enjoying their new school home.

“The Council’s contractor is now progressing the project’s second phase, to create modern new external areas that complement the main building. We will ensure this part of the project will be completed with minimal disruption to the school day – and we have good experience of these arrangements from past projects. I’m looking forward to visiting again soon to see the completed site, and to celebrate the opening of Ysgol Awel Taf next September.”