The new £20 million Archbishop McGrath Catholic School in Brackla, Bridgend South Wales stands ready to open its doors for the new term September 2011.
Construction of the landmark three-storey building, designed by HLM, began in February 2010 to replace the existing school, which could no longer meet the needs of a pupil population that has doubled in the past 20 years.
The new school will accommodate 750 students and features a large atrium entrance with seating to provide additional capacity for the main hall, as well as a leisure centre and sports facility which will be available for use by the local community.
Believed to be the first school of its type to achieve BREEAM Excellent rating under the 2008 guidelines, Archbishop McGrath includes state-of-the-art energy saving and low carbon technologies throughout.
Headteacher Rev Dr Phillip Manghan said : “Moving into our new school has been a fantastic experience. The design and standard of workmanship is exceptional, and I can’t wait to welcome the students into this exciting inspirational building. We are very proud of what we have achieved with HLM and the project team. The new school allows us to build on our record academic achievements this year and provide one of the best teaching environments in Wales”.
Project Architect Jamie Yeoman said: “This school is a product of many engagements between prospective pupils, teachers, current students, support staff and the catchment community. This early input and commitment is fundamental in the success of the project.
The new school is built over three storeys and has a welcoming main entrance which is light and airy. The atrium was designed to be both the physical & spiritual heart of the new school, with the majority of classrooms spiralling from this area. A local artist was commissioned to provide a large artwork depicting the school’s ethos of ‘Christ at the Centre’. This artwork is applied onto the double height dividing screen between the hall and the atrium and when fully extended displays the full design. The atrium also gives access to the chapel which is the focal point within the school, creating a space for pupils, staff and visitors to enjoy a quiet reflective area away from the busy hustle and bustle of the school”.
Main Image – Project architect from HLM Jamie Yeoman with Head Teacher Rev Dr Philip Manghan