Work has commenced at a new all-through school in Abergavenny, with Morgan Sindall Construction selected as the main contractor for the £61m development.
The rebuild will replace the existing King Henry VIII High School and combine it with the Deri View Primary School to create a single 1,900 place all-through school for three to 19-year-olds.
Plans for the school were put before councillors earlier this year when the existing comprehensive school’s building was considered for replacement.
The new facility is part of the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme (formerly 21st Century Schools Programme), a long-term investment to improve buildings and education facilities in Wales.
Pupils are at the heart of the design and have been heavily involved in recent consultation events. These discussions have helped shaped plans for the school, which is set to welcome students in 2024.
The school will include an additional learning needs base and a flying start early learning centre and wrap around childcare facility. There will also be plenty of sport provisions, with a full-size 3G football pitch, 2G hockey pitch and recreational grass pitches for all field sports as well as a three court multi-use games area.
The new school will be net zero in operation
The school will run on Building and Ground mounted Solar Panels with mains electric back up. The design includes 18 electric vehicle charging points and rainwater harvesting as well as storm water retention storage to minimise impact of surface water downstream. Morgan Sindall Construction is also using modern methods of construction including site metering and AI to detect when heaters and electronics have been left on but are not in use.
Phase 1 of the development will focus on the construction of the main school, with phase 2 involving the demolition of the existing building and creation of a hockey pitch. Groundworks are currently taking place to plateau the hill on which the school will be built.
Using its extensive experience in delivering educational facilities whilst working on live sites, the tier one contractor will use a separate entrance and maintain a clear line of separation between the existing school to avoid disruption to pupil’s learning.
Morgan Sindall Construction’s Welsh business was awarded the development through the £1bn South East & Mid Wales Collaborative Construction (SEWSCAP) framework. The contractor has already delivered more than 6,000 school places in Wales through SEWSCAP.
Morgan Sindall Construction’s commitment to backing local suppliers has seen it route more than 90% of spend through Welsh subcontractors and consultants during this time, totalling more than £150 million.
Rob Williams, area director at Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “We are proud to commence work at the new all-through school as part of the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Communities for Learning programme.
“We are firm believers that the spaces in which children learn have a huge impact on their learning and the new all-through school will provide a state-of-the-art building which inspires pupils in a modern learning environment.
“We look forward to delivering the school with the help of SEWSCAP and our supply chain and we will be engaging with the community and creating employment opportunities throughout construction.”