Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council celebrated the start of its latest primary school on 15 January 2007, a replacement for the Welsh medium primary Ysgol Santes Tudful. The Leader of the Council, Cllr Harvey Jones together with Cllr Ray Thomas, Portfolio member for Education and Cllr Paul Brown, Portfolio member for Children’s Services were on hand to cut the turf at the site of the new school. Pupils from the school joined in the celebration; they will work closely with the Main Contractor, South Wales based WRW Construction Ltd to monitor the development and progress of the new school build and are looking forward to being in their new school for September 2008.
Colin James, WRW Business Development Director (right) at the official cutting of the sod ceremony with the Leader of the Council, Cllr Harvey Jones, LLB, LLM, JP, Cllrs Ray Thomas and S Paul Brown, Portfolio Members, Integrated Children's Services, and Joyce Crandon, Principal Eduation Officer.
Cllr Harvey Jones stated “Ysgol Santes Tudful is the first of four new primary schools that the authority is developing over the next five year period. The authority is committed to developing quality school buildings for staff and pupils to provide the very best opportunities for learning and development. This is a very exciting time to be teaching and learning in the County Borough Council as our Vision to see the area recognised as a vibrant, thriving regional centre for the valleys takes shape”.
The new school which is project managed by Chessmann Consulting and designed by Willdig Lammie Partnership features innovative design work which is environmentally and aesthetically pleasing. Cllr Ray Thomas commented ”This development at Ysgol Santes Tudful provides a fitting opportunity to take forward the authority’s commitment to promote sustainability in its new school buildings. As well as a naturally ventilated environment with good levels of daylight, the school will use solar panels to pre-heat the water supplied to the boiler system and harvest rain water in order to flush the toilets”. The design team have included energy saving options in order to improve the whole life running costs of the building and to use renewable and recyclable materials as well as local resources.
The new school will have a capacity of 390 (pupils aged 4-11) plus nursery and will benefit from a range of facilities that will enhance the teaching and learning provision of the school. These include an ICT suite, two halls, a teaching kitchen/ resource area, and a community room. Cllr Paul Brown indicated that for the first time the school will have school playing fields and the extensive site will provide a nature area and trail along with an outdoor classroom and amphitheatre area.
Staff and pupils have expressed their delight at the new school and Head teacher, Mr Dewi Hughes has commented “Ysgol Santes Tudful has been recognised as an outstanding school in its recent inspection. This new building will help to maintain and develop our current standards through the exciting teaching and learning environment it will offer to staff, pupils and the community”.