Work has started on the construction of a new state-of-the-art school in Penrhyndeudraeth for pupils with special educational needs with the first turf being cut at the site today (13/2/15).
The school, where pupils from the Meirionnydd and Dwyfor areas of the county will benefit from the latest facilities and resources, is set to open in the autumn term of 2016.
With an overall cost of £13 million, the new facility will include modern and well equipped classrooms, a hydrotherapy pool, therapy rooms, sensory equipment, suitable outdoor areas for play and learning and a garden and café where the older children can develop entrepreneurial skills. The project has been match funded by the Welsh Government through its 21st Century Schools Programme.
The new school will also include a six-bed residential and short-break unit, which will allow pupils to stay for long or short periods of time. This important provision will mean that far fewer children will have to go outside Gwynedd for their specific care and education needs.
Councillor Gareth Thomas, Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member for Education, said that he was delighted to see the work getting started.
“This ambitious development is much-needed. As a Council, we are committed to ensuring the very best educational facilities for all our pupils so that they can fully realise their potential.
“This brand new school will include the very latest facilities which will enrich the experiences of the children. Despite the excellent education provided at Ysgol Hafod Lon and Uned Ty Aran, the fact is that the present facilities no longer meet modern needs.
“It will be great to see the new school opening its doors next year.”
The contractor selected through a formal tender procedure for the work is local company Wynne Construction.
Councillor Dafydd Meurig, Gwynedd Cabinet Member with responsibility for Property matters said: “Wynne Construction is an experienced and highly respected local company which has won awards for its construction work on two of Gwynedd’s new schools – Ysgol yr Hendre in Caernarfon, and Ysgol Craig y Deryn in Llanegryn.
“They also share our commitment to keeping as much of the benefit of such projects in the local economy by employing as many local contractors and staff on their projects as possible and supporting local businesses in their supply chains.”