29 January 2024
Net zero in operation Mynydd Isa Campus ‘tops out’
Robertson Construction was joined by WEPCo and Flintshire County Council to mark a significant milestone on-site at the state-of-the-art Mynydd Isa Campus.
The building was officially ‘topped out’ to mark the highest point in the build. When complete, the Campus will accommodate more than 1,300 pupils from the ages of three to 16.
Robertson Construction North West is the construction partner of choice for the Campus, which is being delivered through WEPCo (Welsh Education Partnership Company) utilising the Welsh Government’s Mutual Investment Model (MIM) on behalf of Flintshire County Council.
To commemorate the milestone, a ceremonial brick was prepared, which according to ancient legend in the construction of buildings, ensures its prosperity and success. Councillor Claire Homard, Chief Officer for Education and Youth, Flintshire County Council; Councillor Mared Eastwood; and head teachers Paul Smith and Richard Collett were invited to add symbolic ingredients to the brick mould. Oil was added to represent liberty and prosperity; corn, to enable to property to ripen in abundance; salt for purity; and wine to represent hospitality and wisdom.
Robertson also presented the school with a fir tree that will become part of the planting scheme at the Campus and is intended to grow with pupils over the years.
Guests were invited to witness the preparation of the ceremonial brick on the roof of the new campus. The roof area is circa 5,536m2, which is a greater area than five Olympic swimming pools.
Dirk Pittaway, Managing Director, Robertson Construction North West, explained: “In addition to celebrating the milestone with a symbolic age-old tradition, the presentation of the fir tree signifies the creation of a Campus that will flourish and provide a quality environment to nurture pupils and encourage educational growth and attainment.”
Robertson has been engaging with the local community throughout the build, including hosting site visits, presenting progress to local schools and delivering a programme of community benefits that will support the area socially, economically and environmentally.
Mynydd Isa Campus will replace Argoed High School and incorporate the local primary school Ysgol Mynydd Isa. The schools will operate separately from the two-storey campus and with some shared facilities.
Dirk continued: “Works are well underway for the new campus that will provide a modern, first-class learning environment that will address both educational and personal needs. The topping out has been a real celebration of the relationships that have been formed and the progress that has been made, which will ensure that Mynydd Isa Campus has strong deep roots in the community.
“We look forward to continuing our relationships over the next 12 months and beyond, when we will hand over the building to Flintshire County Council and Robertson Facilities Management, who will maintain a presence in the local area as the hard FM provider for the Campus.”
Christian Stanbury, CEO, WEPCo, said: “I am delighted to see this exciting WEPCo project reach such an important milestone. All of our partners have been working exceptionally hard to deliver on our promise of an education campus which leads the way on net zero carbon as well as making a huge difference to the learners, staff and the local community for many years to come.”
Councillor Mared Eastwood, Cabinet Member for Education, Welsh Language, Culture and Leisure, said: “It is a great privilege for me to have the honour of being part of the topping out ceremony and learning about the significance and tradition of the ceremony itself. Getting to this stage of the build has involved a lot of hard work and support from so many people. The ceremony represents a major milestone for Flintshire County Council and is a big step forwards for the present and future learners of Flintshire.”
With a focus on user wellbeing, the outdoor facilities will meet the needs of nursery, primary and high school pupils. This includes a variety of external play spaces and sports areas as well as pitches, including an all-weather grass pitch, and a carpark.
Aligning with the Welsh Government’s commitment to net zero, the 10, 507m² Mynydd Isa Campus will be BREEAM excellent and carbon neutral in operation. The roof will also be home to 1,080 solar panels that will generate up to 508,987 kWh per annum, with 600 kVA being exported back to the grid in the height of summer.