Willmott Dixon’s Cardiff-based team has secured a new school in Rhondda Cynon Taff which is one of the first contracts to be awarded under a new framework agreement.
The company will deliver the £7.1m Abercynon Primary School for Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, providing capacity for more than 420 pupils. The project is one of the first awarded under the South East Wales Schools Capital Working Group (SEWSCAP) framework, a collaboration between 10 local authorities to deliver education projects in the region over four years.
The new Abercynon Primary School is being constructed on the site of the former Abercynon Infants School and Adult Education Centre, designed to replace out-dated facilities at the former Abercynon Infants School, Abertaf Primary School and Carnetown Primary School. In addition to the school, the project includes a new library and an adjoining community facility to support adult learning and youth services.
Cllr Eudine Hanagan, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Learning at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said: “This is a significant investment in the community of Abercynon, creating a modern, inspiring new school for pupils that will meet exceptional design and sustainability standards. The cost of building the school is £7.1m, but the overall investment for this community as a result of this project is £11.5m. It forms part of the Council’s substantial programme of improving school facilities for our children and young people.”
Neal Stephens, managing director for Willmott Dixon in Wales, said: “The SEWSCAP framework promotes collaborative working and is an intelligent solution to meeting the 'more for less' needs of public investment. To be awarded a place on this prestigious contractors’ framework and then win one of the first contracts is a great achievement. Willmott Dixon has a strong portfolio within the education sector in South Wales having delivered 58 education projects in the past three years. We will work alongside Rhondda Cynon Taf Council to also deliver our community benefit strategy which includes utilising the local supply chain and local workforce and supporting community organisations in the region.”
The project is particularly pioneering for Willmott Dixon because it is the first time the firm has utilised a new Building Information Modelling (BIM) process in Wales. This process was evolved from the aeronautical industry, creating highly detailed computer generated models of a building before work starts. It enables Willmott Dixon to create an interactive 3D model of the project incorporating full design and technical details from all parties, including the architect, subcontractors, M&E and structural engineers to detect discrepancies and identify any issues before and during the construction process.
Mr Stephens added: “The BIM process will radically transform the way we do business; increasing efficiency and creating a more collaborative approach to projects from start to finish. It is an efficient and effective tool which will deliver cost, time and resource savings to benefit all parties involved.”