Willmott Dixon has secured the contract to deliver new facilities at Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun in Penywaun, valued at £12m.

The contract was awarded by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, and Willmott Dixon was appointed using the SEWSCAP framework. The project will see the school’s capacity increase by 187 places for the 2022/23 academic year. The project’s scope includes construction of a new eight-classroom block which will include community rooms, along with school drama and music facilities. There will also be a new school reception, sports hall, fitness suite and changing rooms, along with a 45-space parking area and cycle store.

Working in a live environment, Willmott Dixon will also demolish the current caretaker’s house and remove the school’s temporary classrooms. To minimise disruption to the school day, with the majority of the heavy machinery will be delivered during the school’s summer holidays.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for the Welsh Language, Councillor Geraint Hopkins, said: “The council is delighted to welcome Willmott Dixon on board for this project. The works will deliver a significant upgrade to the school’s current facilities – including a brand new classroom block, school reception, sports hall and extra parking provision.

“These will not only benefit staff and pupils, but also the wider community which will be able to access a number of the facilities, in the same way the new 3G sports pitch has opened for school and community use.

“The project is part of a wider education investment across the Cynon Valley – with £10.2m facilities recently delivered at Hirwaun Primary School, and construction of a £4.5m extension and new childcare facility at YGG Aberdâr now underway. The Ysgol Rhydywaun and YGG Aberdâr schemes, both being delivered by 2022, demonstrate the Council’s commitment to Welsh Medium Education as outlined in its Welsh in Education Strategic Plan.

“I can’t wait to see the transformation of the school site by Willmott Dixon, as the Council brings further education investment to yet another community.”

Ian Jones, director at Willmott Dixon said: ‘‘We have worked closely with the council and our partners to create an exceptional learning environment for the local community. We have a long history of delivering schools across Wales and we will ensure that construction of Ysgol Rhydywaun directly benefits the community; this is through a programme of opportunities including work experience, apprenticeships, mentoring and employment. In addition, we will be working with local partners to provide employment and training opportunities to those people furthest away from the jobs market.’’

The project is the latest for Willmott Dixon in Wales. In October 2020, it handed over the award winning Llys Cadwyn development in Pontypridd to Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council. The £38m scheme has transformed a derelict 1960s shopping centre into a stunning mixed use development, creating a new home for Transport for Wales along with further office space, a 21st century library and fitness and leisure facilities.