Building work begins on new Brynmenyn Primary School
20 February 2017
A ‘ground-breaking’ ceremony has been held to mark construction work getting underway on the new Brynmenyn Primary School.
The school is being relocated less than a mile away from its current home on Bryn Road to the former site of Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School next to Coleg Cymunedol Y Dderwen.
The brand new school is due to open in spring 2018 and will be built at a total cost of £8.15m.
The project is being jointly funded by Bridgend County Borough Council and the Welsh Government’s 21st century schools programme.
Councillor Huw David, the Leader of Bridgend County Borough Council, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved in getting us to this important milestone.
“It’s a list of people that includes our project team, head teacher Clare Dale, governors, school staff, the contractors BAM Construction Limited, and Boyes Rees Architects who designed the school.”
Brynmenyn Primary School is being relocated because the current site is unsuitable for expansion as a result of its size and the fact it is surrounded by common land. There are also significant issues with traffic congestion outside the current Brynmenyn Primary School.
The brand new school will be bigger with more modern facilities and will help the council cope with a rising demand for school places in the Valleys Gateway area for many years to come.
The new school will be built to BREEAM ‘excellent’ standards of sustainability, using more than 15 per cent of recycled materials.
Councillor David added: “I understand that when pupils were drawing up their wish-list for the new school many of them wanted to see a chocolate milk swimming pool!
“I’m afraid we haven’t been able to provide that, but they will be getting playing fields as well as dedicated soft play areas for nursery and reception pupils, while Ynysawdre Swimming Pool is just across the road.”
Among those present for the ground-breaking ceremony – an ancient tradition held to mark the start of building work – were a group of Brynmenyn pupils who are ‘Building Ambassadors’.
Explaining their role, Headteacher Clare Dale said: “Voted for by their peers, our Building Ambassadors will have a very important role to play in the coming months. They will visit the site regularly, update the rest of the school on progress, and will share their ideas for the interior design, colours etc. They are very keen to get started and love their new high visibility jackets.
“All of our pupils are starting to get excited now, and are particularly thrilled that they will have grass in the new school. As the current school is surrounded by concrete they are really looking forward to that.”
Brynmenyn School started as a Council Infants School at Betharan Vestry on 18 October 1909, and the present school building opened its doors on 13 January 1913.
Historical items from the existing school will be incorporated into the new school where possible. For example, the school has a memorial to Sarah Jane Howell, a former assistant teacher who died saving a pupil from drowning in the river in 1911.