A fire-damaged Bridgend County Borough school which was demolished and replaced with state-of-the-art new premises has been officially opened by First Minister, Carwyn Jones.
Betws Primary has been built as part of a £10.8m educational investment into the southern part of the Garw Valley after plans were approved to construct a Welsh medium primary school, Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Calon Y Cymoedd, at the same site.
Both of the new schools are being provided through the council’s School Modernisation initiative, which has been heavily supported by Welsh Government funding through its 21st Century Schools and Education programme.
Catering for up to 210 pupils aged between four and eleven, Betws Primary can now offer a nursery for 45 children, seven nurture places and specialist support for eight pupils with hearing impairments.
With underfloor heating and temperature-sensitive windows that will open and close automatically, the - school has been designed by the council’s own in-house team and constructed by Andrew Scott Ltd to provide plenty of light and space while creating a mix of indoor and outdoor learning environments.
A central ‘street’ runs through the heart of the school which gives access to cloakrooms, toilets and well-equipped classrooms featuring large interactive screens, and external areas have been upgraded with soft play facilities, an astro turf pitch which will be available for wider community use, and much more.
First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “It’s a real privilege to open this fantastic new school in Betws. Visiting new schools is a great opportunity to see first-hand how Welsh Government, local authorities and schools work in partnership to deliver better education for our communities.
“We are committed to raising standards and delivering the best education to every child in our country.
“Our 21st Century Schools and Education Programme is the largest investment Welsh Government has made towards our schools and colleges since the 1960s. This will ensure Wales has schools that are not just the pride of Wales, but the envy of other nations.”
As well as being a fantastic new facility that is going to benefit the valley community for many generations to come, the new Betws Primary is giving parents of pupils at Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Calon Y Cymoedd an early peek at how their new school is going to look.
Both of these new schools are going to be located just a few miles away from Coleg Cymunedol Y Dderwen, demonstrating our desire to create a formidable lasting legacy for education in both the Ogmore and Garw valleys.Councillor Charles Smith, Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration
Council Leader Huw David said: “I will never forget seeing how the former school was partially devastated by fire in 2012 as it occurred shortly after I was appointed the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People.
“As Leader, it is one of my proudest moments to see that we have delivered on the promise we made back then, and have provided the community with a brand new school.
“Thanks are due to Welsh Government for their ongoing support, staff, teachers and governors at the school, the local community council who funded floodlighting for the new pitch, Andrew Scott Ltd and everyone who has played a part in helping to deliver this brand new school for the local community.
“Our flagship school modernisation programme is continuing to deliver new educational facilities throughout the county borough that are designed to support local children, and I am delighted to see these latest additions joining them.”