Mynydd Isa 3-16 Campus Development
The Council are proceeding with plans to invest in a new 3-16 campus in Mynydd Isa. The proposed project will provide a new build Primary School for 600 Full time pupils and 43 Nursery Pupils and a Secondary School for 700 pupils, on a campus arrangement on the existing Argoed High School site. It is hoped that subject to the necessary consents/approvals the new campus will be operational by September 2023.
Where can I express my opinion?
Formal pre-application consultation (PAC) on the draft Mynydd Isa Campus planning application commenced on the 22 July 2021 and will end on the 23 August 2021.
Full PAC is located here:-
Display boards are also located at the Community Centre, on Mercia Drive, Mynydd Isa, and there is also a drop box there for those who have not got access to emails or the internet.
The Council have a strategy to amalgamate all separate infants and junior facilities, with the statutory process of amalgamation previously completed the final action is to build a new school to bring the two existing sites together. Ysgol Mynydd Isa is the last remaining primary school within Flintshire to be located on a split site arrangement. In addition both sites have building suitability and condition issues.
The Argoed High School has a number of accommodation deficits and issues which cannot be easily addressed due the construction of the existing school.
The best option is to provide a new 21st Century Schools facilities for both primary and secondary schools.
The schools retain their individual identities as primary and secondary schools as they do at present. However, they share a site/campus. This is similar to the 3-16 campus recently built by the Council in Holywell.
The Council is using a Mutual Investment Model (MIM) which is Welsh Government’s new form of Public Private Partnership.
A private sector company is appointed via a new Welsh Government framework, the Welsh Education Partnership Company (WEPCo) and they finance, construct and provide a 25 year ‘life cycled’ building. This means that responsibility for funding and constructing the building, and then repairing and maintaining the building for 25 years once built, remains with the contractor. This results in buildings funded by MIM being maintained at a consistently high level for 25 years.
The Council will receive 81% funding from Welsh Government to support this project, with the Council funding the remaining 19%. The Council funding commitment has been factored into the Council’s financial strategy.
TWEPCo is a Joint Venture -a long-term partnership between the Development Bank of Wales (Welsh Government) and Meridiam to develop Education facilities on behalf of Local Authorities and Further Education Institutions in Wales.
WEPCo’s role is to facilitate the delivery of circa 30 new education facilities (primary schools, all through schools, secondary schools and colleges) using the Mutual Investment Model (MIM) within Wales, as part of the Welsh Governments 21st Century Schools Investment Programme.
The proposed project at Mynydd Isa has been nominated by Welsh Government as MIM pathfinder, which if successful will be first within Wales to be delivered under this new initiative.
The schools have been designed to be independent, the only shared facilities are the staff and visitor parking, visitor reception area and the school kitchen. The internal layout of the school includes zoning for primary and secondary so that the two schools are distinct from one another. External areas will be segregated, using appropriately sized fences and will be in accordance with building bulletin guidelines. The Council have built a 3-16 campus in Holywell which has been in operation for a number of years with no reported issues.
Yes, the campus has been specifically designed to meet all relevant regulations and building guidelines for both the school accommodation and external areas
No, whilst the schools will share one kitchen, it will be designed to serve both the primary and secondary pupils independently, therefore, pupils will dine in their respective schools.
This is a function of the schools governing bodies, both schools remain independent. There are no plans locally to change from the current uniforms.
Again this is local function of the schools governing bodies, currently, it is too early in the process for this consideration. However, nearer the time the governors of both schools will be considering this in more depth.
These will continue to operate as they do currently.
Yes, a full fixed and loose furniture package together with IT infrastructure and equipment forms part of the proposed investment project.
Any furniture and equipment (including IT) that is useable will re-cycled back into the Flintshire Schools estate. We will also work with charities and other bodies to ensure where possible that furniture not suitable to be recycled back into the school estate is upcycled accordingly, limiting waste.
The two schools already have enrichment programmes, however, the new 21st Century school facilities and space remove current limitations due to existing accommodation shortfalls and provides an opportunity for schools to enhance their education offer locally.
There would be no change to levels of traffic in the area based upon the current numbers on role at the Argoed and Ysgol Mynydd Isa. Traffic would be redistributed with the primary school destination changing. Once the new campus is at capacity there could be a modest increase in traffic however junction modelling has been undertaken based upon observed data and future projections. It indicates that all junctions in the vicinity of the site would operate within their capacity based on a worst-case scenario where no trip reductions have been applied in line with the Travel Plan reductions in car driver trips. The assessment allows for the additional pupils as well as the redistribution of existing trips.
Yes, the Council has a responsibility to encourage parents, carers and pupils to choose other modes of transport other than vehicles.
The schools will have developed “Travel Plans” which will actively encourage parents/carers to walk/cycle/scooter to school where possible. The Schools will work with the Councils road safety team to encourage sustainable local initiatives, the community itself have an important role here. Cycle racks/scooter sheds will be provided on the campus as part of the proposed project.
There will be sufficient parking onsite for staff and visitors to the school as well as an enhanced parental drop off area.
The decision to invest in the schools in the area has been made on the basis of need due to deficiencies and condition of current accommodation, split sites and difficulties adapting existing buildings.
There are no plans for the current Infant and Junior primary sites as they are still operational schools and will remain so until the new campus is officially ready for occupation. The Council have a process in determining surplus sites through its Cabinet.
The current Primary school sites are not included in the Local Development Plan (LDP)
The Health and Safety of Pupils, staff and visitors to Argoed high school at construction stage is paramount. WEPCo, their chosen construction partner and the Council team are experienced in school construction delivery in “live” environments. The new school and how it will be constructed in an operational environment has been integral element of project planning and this will continue to be developed in collaboration with the school to minimise the impact of construction activities to the school operation. A construction management plan will explain how safe segregation between the school and the construction site will be created and maintained as well as how deliveries will be co-ordinated so as not to occur during the start and end of the school day. At construction stage there will be a close working relationship with the contractor and School as well as with local neighbours regarding ongoing activities.
There will be added benefits to the school with the WEPco and its construction partner completing curriculum enrichment activities through construction and technical functions.
The Argoed and Ysgol Mynydd Isa suffer from a number of accommodation issues including:-
• Ageing buildings that are in a poor condition
• Buildings that do not provide suitable accommodation to meet the needs of pupils
• Primary school on split sites
• Buildings that are unable to fully address the needs of pupils with a disability
• Mobile classrooms addressing shortfall in pupil capacity
• Lack of suitable arrangements for drop off/pick up of pupils
• Lack of suitable onsite parking facilities
• Shortfall in the size and number of curriculum and specialist teaching spaces
• Lack of suitable sized teaching environments, hall and dining space in an appropriate location
• Lack of a sufficient number of learning resource areas (small group rooms)
• Lack of staff/admin areas
• Lack of appropriate provision for ALN needs
• The need to meet the shortfalls in the Equalities Act 2010 as physical barriers created by the existing design and changes in levels make it almost impossible to resolve
• Poor solar gain/temperature control
The new 3-16 year campus will provide new facilities fit for 21st century learning that address all of the current shortfalls. It will also contribute significantly to reducing carbon footprint and is being designed to be net zero carbon in operation standards. This means that the equivalent amount of operational energy consumed on site will be generated by a roof mounted solar panels. The buildings will also be low in embodied carbon through the careful selection of building materials that are less carbon intensive and therefore harmful to the environment. In addition the school will be designed to BREEAM Excellent standards which means that a range of things such as minimization of waste, significant new planting, ecologically friendly landscaping proposals and management of rainfall and runoff amongst others will all be incorporated into the new buildings.
A new high quality All Weather Pitch is needed to compensate for the loss of existing playing fields where the new school is to be built. The all-weather pitch is to be 55.5m x 37m in size and has been designed to primarily accommodate football alongside other informal sports. The pitch will be located on the site of the existing school buildings and set back further than the current buildings that are closest to Snowdon Avenue. The playing surface will be at a level 3 metres lower than the existing ground level and to prevent impact from noise a 3 metre high solid noise barrier is proposed around the northern and western boundary of the all weather pitch. Additional mesh fences are also included around the facility between the pitch and the solid noise barrier to prevent the noise of balls hitting the solid barriers.