An official opening for Llanelli’s new £10.2million Ysgol Pen Rhos takes place this week.
The new school, in the Seaside area of the town, is one of Carmarthenshire County Council’s new ‘superschools’ with modern education and recreational facilities to cater not only for its 420 pupils, but also for the local community, which has been jointly funded under Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools and Education Programme.
Designed by Carmarthenshire County Council’s own property design team, it is one of county’s most eco-friendly schools – designed to retain heat and keep down the school’s running costs.
Externally, a new 3G pitch and multi-use games area has been included for the benefit of pupils and members of the public.
Pupils returned from their Easter break to start life in their new school, which brings together and replaces the former Copperworks infant and Lakefield primary schools.
It is a dual-stream bilingual school, offering education through English and Welsh and caters for children aged between three to 11, with 60 nursery places and a Flying Start centre.
Ysgol Pen Rhos has been delivered through Carmarthenshire County Council’s Modernising Education Programme, with funding through the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools initiative.
Education Secretary, Kirsty Williams said: “I’m delighted that staff and pupils are enjoying this ultra-modern and eco-friendly school building. This is an excellent example of what can be achieved through our 21st Century Schools and Education Programme – an inspiring new learning environment that is fit for the future and funded with £5 million from the Welsh Government.
“This project is part of the first wave of the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools and Education Programme, which will see the rebuild and refurbishment of over 150 schools and colleges across Wales, representing the largest investment in our schools and colleges since the 1960s.”
Executive board member for education, Cllr Glynog Davies, said: “This is yet another fine example of a 21st century school with an environment and facilities that support children to learn and play in fantastic surroundings.
“We are grateful to TRJ Ltd for their dedicated workmanship and delivering a school that looks and works fantastically well.
“We hope that pupils and staff are starting to settle in and enjoy many happy years ahead.”
Headteacher Joe Cudd added: “Ysgol Pen Rhos is a wonderful school that is at the centre of many exciting developments in the area. The children and their families have waited a long time for their new school.
“Without doubt this is an exceptional facility that will greatly enrich the lives of many, many children. Ysgol Pen Rhos is a 21st century school with the community leaders of tomorrow at the centre of what we do.”
What the children think…
Keira Davies: “My new classroom is fantastic. The chairs are really comfy and when you go outside the teachers can watch you from inside.”
Grace Woods: “This school is fabulous, there’s new stuff in the classroom – the doors slide open when you want to go outside.”
Harri Hale: “I like the 3G pitch, I like playing football on it, and I like the new computers.”
Harry Williams-Hill: “I like how at playtimes we can do different things like playing football, running around or sitting on the chairs under the umbrellas. When it’s nice we can work on the balcony because we have some chairs.”
Imogen Palethorpe: “When I first entered the school it was very spacious and I also love the classes because they’re big. In the dinner hall it’s very clean and we can have a good dinner time.”