CYNGOR Gwynedd has welcomed the Welsh Government’s announcement of a £12Million investment to develop a brand-new school and community centre at Bontnewydd.
It comes as Education and Welsh Language Minister Jeremy Miles today (Friday March 24) said that three new net zero carbon schools would be built.
The Minister agreed funding for three new sustainable schools – a capital investment of £44.7m for all three projects.
Ysgol Bontnewydd and Community Centre is the only one in the north of Wales to be selected, with the others in the south-east and south-west.
The Minister’s Sustainable Schools Challenge had invited bids for innovative projects.
Applicants had to demonstrate collaboration with local communities and included school pupils in the design, delivery and management of the schools.
Ysgol Bontnewydd and Community Centre will be zero carbon in operation, and use recycled materials in its construction from two buildings on site that are due to be demolished.
It will also source materials as close as possible to the site, including timber and sheep wool insulation.
It will also be larger in size to meet the needs of the Curriculum for Wales.
Community facilities such as a hall, office space and car charging points will be included.
A “green and environmentally friendly ethos” is at its core, with pupils will be able to walk or cycle to classes, as the school will be connected to Lôn Eifion.
Councillor Beca Brown, Cyngor Gwynedd’s Education Cabinet Member, said it was “great news,” and congratulated everyone involved in the application.
“It is a matter of pride that Welsh Government has chosen Ysgol Bontnewydd from applications from all over the country.” She said.
“I eagerly looking forward to seeing the work begin and to see local children benefiting educationally and socially from the school, which will provide educational and community facilities that are both accessible and green
“I’m also looking forward to hearing the input of the children and the community.”
Garem Jackson, Head of Cyngor Gwynedd’s Education Department, added: “The school and its new resources will enable the staff to deliver the highest quality education to the children and meet the needs of the New Curriculum for Wales.
“Ysgol Bontnewydd’s new building will be integrated with the local environment, celebrating its connection with nature and the environment, making the most of natural materials and local industrial history.”
Councillor Menna Jones, councillor for Bontnewydd and Chair of the Community Centre committee, to be part of this new development, said:
“Speaking as a parent of a child attending Ysgol Bontnewydd, this is very special news.
“Ysgol Bontnewydd and the centre have been at the heart of the community for generations but, like everything else, they have worn with time.
“With this investment families in the area can look forward to enjoying a modern school and community resources for generations to come.”
Welsh Government’s Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles said:
“Schools are much more than bricks and mortar.
“Well-designed buildings can play their part in tackling the climate emergency, supporting staff and learners with education, as well as delivering high standards and aspirations for all.
“These three projects are extremely exciting as well as a blueprint for our future school developments.
They offer an opportunity to learn about sustainability, but also for learners to have an opportunity to be involved with the design and delivery of these buildings, to shape the environment they will learn with and to understand how decisions taken today have an impact on their future.
“Learning about sustainability is mandatory within our new Curriculum for Wales.
“The three projects present a great opportunity to inspire learners and realise the Curriculum’s aim to develop ethical, informed citizens.”