£20m funding boost for Ysgol Maes y Gwendraeth
A NEW Gwendraeth Valley school is set to benefit from £20 million funding, while plans are under way for its former school site.
The funding boost, which has come from the Welsh Government, will go towards the modernisation and extension of the former Maes yr Yrfa site, which is to house the new Ysgol Maes y Gwendraeth, which replaces Maes yr Yrfa and Ysgol y Gwendraeth.
Maes y Gwendraeth officially opened its doors in September after the two schools closed their doors for good in July. While news of the extra funding has been welcomed by Carmarthenshire Council leader Kevin Madge and executive board member for education Keith Davies, the county council's education and children scrutiny committee has been investigating possible future uses for Ysgol y Gwendraeth when the school closes.
Ideas for the site include a need to retain a local sports provision for the community and a possible as a primary school, but nothing has been decided yet.
County councillor Emlyn Dole said he welcomed the development of the new school for the children of the Gwendraeth Valley.
"I'm welcoming that spend and I look forward to the work starting on the refurbishment of that school."
"People are concerned about the Ysgol y Gwendraeth site being turned into a super primary school, where a number of primary schools would be closed."
Mr Dole said he would like to see the site used for the benefit of the community. "The idea was that part of the school could be used by the community."
He said the gym, leisure facilities and state-of-the-art atrium theatre at the school should be kept for the community. "These facilities need to be safeguarded so they can be used by the people of the upper Gwendraeth Valley," he added.
School modernisation manager for the council's education and children department Simon Davies said officers of the authority and the senior management of Ysgol y Gwendraeth met with parents of pupils of years eight, nine and 10 in the summer term to discuss the future of the Gwendraeth school campus, as a result of concerns being expressed by parents, but no consensus was reached. But they did decide no change would be made until 2015.
Mr Davies said: "Officers are also working up an exit strategy for the Gwendraeth campus so that whenever it becomes vacant, there will be an agreed plan in place for the future use of the site. From a departmental and MEP perspective, one of the first options to be explored is the feasibility of using the site as a primary school as there are primary school reorganisation projects in the Drefach area that could be considered."