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'Signing the steel' to mark construction milestone at school sites

Cllr Lewis visits pupils in Beddau and Rhydyfelin

The Council’s Cabinet Member for Education has visited staff and pupils in Rhydyfelin and Beddau, and saw the excellent progress being made towards building new school facilities in partnership with Welsh Government. 

Councillor Rhys Lewis was given a warm welcome from pupils of Heol y Celyn Primary School and YGG Pont Sion Norton, and also from Bryn Celynnog Comprehensive School, during the two site visits on Tuesday, November 15. Schools in Rhydyfelin and Beddau will soon benefit from new facilities thanks to joint investment via the Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme. The contractor for both projects, ISG, started work in the summer holiday.

Construction of the steel frame for each new school building is an important landmark in the construction process, and this was recently completed at both developments. ISG invited pupils, staff and Cllr Lewis to see the progress, and they took the opportunity to sign a steel frame to mark the milestone. A summary of each project, and the progress made so far, is included below:

New Welsh Medium Primary School, Rhydyfelin

A new 21st Century school is being built on the current Heol y Celyn Primary site to welcome the school’s Welsh Medium pupils, and those currently attending YGG Pont Sion Norton, in 2024. It will include a new Multi Use Games Area, playing field, staff car park and bus drop-off area.

Work started in July 2022 and is currently on schedule. Along with the steel frame for the main building, the contractor has completed the concrete pour to the first floor and the pre-cast concrete stairs. The MUGA area is also being prepared. The next work on site includes roofing, steel painting, ground floor concrete pours and installation of an attenuation tank for the drainage system.

Bryn Celynnog Comprehensive, Beddau

A brand new sixth form block will be built, along with new sports facilities and improved 21st Century classrooms for pupils in Key Stages 3, 4 and 5. Two older teaching blocks will be demolished while a car park and new access routes will be provided – with the entire project on course for completion during 2023.

Work started on site in August 2022 and is currently on schedule to welcome the sixth form pupils, including those from Pontypridd and Hawthorn High Schools, in September 2023. The steel frame has been built for the sixth form building and the separate gym, while the former caretaker’s house has been demolished. Construction of the pre-cast stairs and metal decks on both buildings will start in the coming weeks, which will be followed by the concrete pours to each of the floors.

Councillor Rhys Lewis, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Youth Participation and the Welsh Language, said: “The school investments in Rhydyfelin and Beddau are part of the wider £72m funding agreed by the Council and Welsh Government, to provide brand new education facilities across Greater Pontypridd. Four main projects will be completed by 2024, including new 3-16 schools in Cilfynydd and Hawthorn.

“I was delighted to meet staff and pupils from Heol y Celyn Primary School, YGG Pont Sion Norton, and Bryn Celynnog Comprehensive School on Tuesday, and to see how construction work is progressing. The pupils were excited to see how the new facilities are taking shape, and in marking a key milestone of the construction phase, the contractor invited the group to sign the steel of one of the new buildings.

“The Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme has continued the positive momentum from the 21st Century Schools Programme, to replace older school facilities with new learning environments that we can be proud of. It is fantastic to see how the most-recent projects at Ffynnon Taf Primary, YGG Aberdâr and Ysgol Rhydywaun, are being enjoyed by pupils every day.

“All of our new projects are aiming to achieve Net Zero carbon in operation as part of our Climate Change goals and objectives. The new school in Rhydyfelin will also improve and expand Welsh Medium education provision in Pontypridd, which conforms to the outcomes identified in our Welsh in Education Strategic Plan.

“The exciting progress being made on site in Rhydyfelin and Beddau will continue over the weeks and months ahead, and I can’t wait to visit in the future to see the projects continue towards completion. I would like to thank pupils, staff and our contractors for their very warm welcome on Tuesday.”

Posted on 18/11/2022