Work is officially underway to deliver new £12.1m school and community facilities at Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun – and the Council’s Cabinet Member for the Welsh Language has visited the site to mark the occasion.
The Welsh Medium secondary school in Penywaun will receive their brand new facilities in time for the 2022/23 academic year – which will also increase the school’s capacity by 187 places. The Council secured a 65% contribution from Welsh Government’s 21stCentury Schools and Colleges Programme to deliver the work, which received planning permission during February 2021.
Councillor Geraint Hopkins visited the school on Tuesday, July 27, on behalf of the Cabinet Member for Education and Inclusion Services. He was welcomed by appointed contractor Willmott Dixon – after the development was officially started in the week commencing July 12. Works will include:
- Demolition of the current caretaker’s house and removal of the school’s temporary classrooms.
- Construction of a new eight-classroom block which will include community rooms, along with school drama and music facilities.
- Provision of a new school reception, sports hall, fitness suite and changing rooms, along with a 45-space parking area and cycle store.
During the works, Willmott Dixon will ensure disruption to the school day is minimal. Deliveries to the site will avoid the start and end of the school day to minimise traffic congestion in the local community – while the majority of the heavy machinery will be delivered in the initial summer holiday period. The development is on course to be completed during August 2022.
Councillor Geraint Hopkins, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for the Welsh Language, said: “It was fantastic to be able to visit Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun on Wednesday, to visit the site which will soon be transformed into first-class facilities that are fit for the 21st Century – thanks to the Council and Welsh Government’s joint £12.1m investment. The Council is delighted to welcome contractor Willmott Dixon on board for this project.
“The works will deliver a significant upgrade to the school’s current facilities – including a brand new classroom block, school reception, sports hall and extra parking provision. These will not only benefit staff and pupils, but also the wider community which will be able to access a number of the facilities, in the same way the new 3G sports pitch has opened for school and community use.
“The project is part of a wider education investment across the Cynon Valley – with £10.2m facilities recently delivered at Hirwaun Primary School, and construction of a £4.5m extension and new childcare facility at YGG Aberdâr now underway. The Ysgol Rhydywaun and YGG Aberdâr schemes, both being delivered by 2022, demonstrate the Council’s commitment to Welsh Medium Education as outlined in its Welsh in Education Strategic Plan.
“With the exciting project at Ysgol Rhydywaun now underway, I can’t wait to see the transformation of the school site by Willmott Dixon, as the Council brings further education investment to yet another community. The Council, its contractor and the school will all work very closely together to ensure the development takes place with as minimal disruption as possible, as we deliver facilities that current and future pupils of the school will be proud of.”
Ian Jones, Willmott Dixon Director, said: ‘‘We are delighted to be starting work on Ysgol Rhydywaun. We have worked closely with the Council and our partners to create an exceptional learning environment for the local community.
“Working with a local supply chain, we have a long history of delivering schools across Wales and we will ensure that construction of Ysgol Rhydywaun directly benefits the community; this is through a programme of opportunities including work experience, apprenticeships, mentoring and employment. In addition, we will be working with local partners to provide employment and training opportunities to those people furthest away from the jobs market.’’