Wynne Construction has officially commenced works on a build in Powys which will merge a primary school’s rich heritage with modern design principles.
We have have started the £7m development of Ysgol Gymraeg y Trallwng in Welshpool, which will see a new 150-student school constructed on site, while also incorporating the historic Ysgol Maesydre building.
The Grade II-listed building will be refurbished as part of the construction to accommodate early years and community facilities, with existing features of the building, which has existed since the late 1890s, retained and protected.
Additional structural repairs, window refurbishment and roof coverings will also be installed on the site, which will be linked to the new extension. The extension, which is to be built to achieve Passivhaus accreditation and ensure a sustainable, low energy usage building, will see a new school hall and classrooms added in place.
The merging of an existing building with a new construction designed to Passivhaus standards is the first such project within the UK, with Wynne specifically developing the design to ensure the site meets the required air tightness and energy efficient levels.
Members from Wynne Construction, Powys County Council, who appointed the company to complete the development, and students and staff from Ysgol Gymraeg y Trallwng attended a ceremony to officially mark the beginning of works.
Steve Davies, construction director at Wynne Construction, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Powys County Council for the first time on a structure which is combining new modern facilities while also preserving the existing history of the old Ysgol Maesydre building for generations to come. This innovative development is particularly exciting, as although we have completed many projects following Passivhaus principles, this will be the first such site to be accredited as a Passivhaus building.
“We look forward to delivering a high-quality sustainable solution, as well as bringing additional employment opportunities and socio-economic benefits to the wider community of Welshpool.”
Councillor Phyl Davies, cabinet member for education and property at Powys County Council, said: “When complete, the new school will provide the learners and staff of Ysgol Gymraeg y Trallwng with 21st Century facilities while preserving and modernising Grade II listed building for the community of Welshpool to use. It will also be built to Passivhaus standards and this will help the council meet its ambition to reduce carbon emissions to net zero as part of efforts to tackle climate change.
“We have a strategy to transform education in Powys and this project for Ysgol Gymraeg Y Trallwng underlines our commitment to deliver this important strategy. The new school will provide a learning environment that will allow learners and teaching staff to thrive and reach their potential through the medium of Welsh.”
Lindsey Phillips, chair of governors at Ysgol Gymraeg Y Trallwng, said: “This project has faced significant challenges over recent years, but we are delighted that we have finally reached this momentous milestone. The pupils, staff, governors and wider community are eagerly anticipating the new building, where we will be able to build on the exciting and inspiring foundations that have already been laid at Ysgol Gymraeg Y Trallwng for Welsh education in Welshpool.”
The Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, said: “I was really pleased to support the new Ysgol Gymraeg Y Trallwng through our 21st Century Schools and Colleges Programme, which will create a fantastic learning environment for children through the medium of Welsh, while maintaining the character of the original school. I’m looking forward to seeing this exciting project coming to fruition.”
Angharad Davies, Headteacher at Ysgol Gymraeg Y Trallwng, said: ‘We would like to say diolch yn fawr iawn for ensuring that Ysgol Gymraeg Y Trallwng and the wider community has the facilities that we deserve. This building, this school, will become our Welsh community. We will enrich the lives of everybody in our care and we will inspire the next generation by ensuring the very best education. We will develop our pupils and our community, and we will stand proud with our passionate Welsh hearts.”
The project is being funded 50/50 by Powys County Council’s and Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools Programme. The project will help the council deliver its Strategy for Transforming Education in Powys, an ambitious 10-year strategy that was approved in April 2020.