Ground breaking Eastern High school and Cardiff and Vale College shared learning campus
A ground breaking ceremony has been held in Trowbridge to herald another significant milestone in the project to create brand-new, state-of-the-art facilities for Eastern High school and Cardiff and Vale College.
Cabinet Member for Education, Cllr Sarah Merry was joined by representatives including Eastern High Headteacher Armando DiFinizio, Cardiff and Vale College Principal Mike James and Managing Director of contractors Willmott Dixon Neal Stephens for the traditional ceremony to celebrate the start of construction.
The new Eastern High is being jointly funded by the City of Cardiff Council and the Welsh Government through its £168m 21st Century Schools programme.
Built on an innovative shared learning campus, the £26m scheme is being developed in close collaboration with Cardiff and Vale College, on land once used for the college’s former Trowbridge campus which was demolished over the summer.
Earlier this year the city council released a digital video fly through which gave a flavour of how the new campus will look when it is completed.
The design provides outstanding facilities for excellent teaching and learning and high standards of achievement. It also has a strong community focus, with many facilities being made available for public use, including a 3G flood lit football pitch with grandstand. There has also been extensive engagement with local primary schools over the use of the facilities.
Welcoming the scheme’s wider benefits, Cllr Merry said: “I strongly believe that there needs to be close relationships between schools and the communities they serve. Eastern High is an excellent example of this being put into practice.
“I am delighted to mark another significant step towards opening the brand new shared learning campus. Better education and skills for all is a priority for the council and the new school will create a state-of-the-art learning environment when it opens next year.”
The joint learning campus is designed to create a learning environment which offers a smooth transition from school to college and encourages more students to access post-16 education and training.
The new Eastern High school will accommodate 1200 pupils up to GCSE level. Courses and vocational training for 320 students over the age of 16 will be provided by Cardiff and Vale College. It will include flexible learning spaces for a variety of uses and the very latest in science facilities.
Mike James, Principal and Chief Executive of Cardiff and Vale College, said: “This ground breaking ceremony marks a truly significant milestone in this landmark project to bring much wider choice in training and education to young people in East Cardiff.
“When this new school and learning campus opens during the 2017-18 academic year it will be an inspirational facility for both young people and the local community.”
Whilst the initial target date was September 2017, with the project well underway the school is now set to be finished in December 2017.
Neal Stephens Managing Director of Willmott Dixon, Wales and the West said: “We are proud to be part of the new Eastern High school which will provide a high-end learning environment for the benefit of the children and families in the community. The majority of our people working on this construction are also from the local area, so this will also be a project that directly benefits the immediate vicinity.”