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Hydrock delivers the multi-disciplinary engineering design on two middle schools in Rhondda Cynon Taf

22nd Apr 2016

Acting for Rhondda Cynon Taf, Hydrock’s multi-disciplinary engineering team in Cardiff has supported the planning application and the design of two new middle schools for three to 16-year olds in Porth and Tonypandy as part of the Welsh Government 21st Century School Investment Programme.

With a total programme value of £17.5m, the two projects will include a significant amount of new build in addition to the modification and refurbishment of existing school facilities to create two new sites which in turn enable a number of small primary schools to be brought together.

Working with architects, DarntonB3, we are delivering full civil, structural and M&E design on all aspects of the two new sites, including the modifications, refurbishments and the substantial new build, in addition to a flood defence strategy. As such, we have had an integral role in the development of each school from concept stage onwards.

Hydrock has also delivered geotechnical analysis of both sites to inform the subsequent structural design and submitted transport reports to accompany the planning application, submitted in March 2016. Our transport reports included consideration of walking and cycling in the context of the Active Travel Act and detailed analysis of ‘safe routes in the community’ to ensure that key routes to school were appropriate and safe for walking. Our work included recommendations of off-site mitigation to improve pedestrian routes within the vicinity of the site. We also produced travel plans which set out a series of measures to be adopted by the school to reduce car use and encourage travel by other modes. In addition, our work involved a detailed analysis of the likely vehicular demand to the new middle school which informed the on-site parking provision.

Speaking about our work, Martin Watkins, Technical Director for Structural Engineering in Hydrock’s Cardiff office, said: “We are delighted to be deeply involved in the development of these two prestigious new school facilities. The quality of the new facilities will bring a real benefit to families in these communities and reflects the aims of the Welsh Government’s investment programme in schools. One of the most important parts of the engineering design for each site is the structural links created between the different buildings serving a purpose to establish a connection for children as they move through their education at each school.”

Construction is due to begin in late summer 2016 with both the Porth and Tonypandy sites operational for the new academic year in September 2018.