Contractor starts work at new Abergavenny school


Work has commenced at a new all-through school in Abergavenny, with Morgan Sindall Construction being appointed as contractor for the project. Councillors were faced with the plans earlier this year when the existing comprehensive school’s building was considered for replacement.

The project is part of the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme, which aims to improve buildings and education facilities throughout the region. Totalling £61 million, the rebuild work consists of replacing the existing King Henry VIII High School and combining it with the Deri View Primary School to create a single 1,900 place all-through school for three to 19-year-olds.

At the heart of the design are the pupils at Abergavenny school, who have been heavily involved in consultation events. The discussions have helped shape plans for the school, which is set to welcome students in 2024. As part of the changes involved in the new development are 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.

Moreover, the Abergavenny school has been developed with sustainability in mind and it 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.

The development was awarded to Morgan Sindall Construction through the £1 billion South East & Mid Wales Collaborative Construction (SEWSCAP) framework. The contractor has already delivered more than 6,000 school places in Wales through SEWSCAP and its 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.

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BDC 301 February 2023