It was all hands on deck at the site of a new state-of-the-art further education campus in Aberdare, as learners helped to â€˜peg outâ€™ the layout of the facility which is set to transform education and skills training for hundreds in the region.
Following Welsh Government backing at the end of last year, construction has now begun on the site of Coleg y Cymoeddâ€™s Â£22 million Aberdare campus. Current Coleg y Cymoedd learners from a variety of courses joined forces to help construction company Kier mark the outline of where the new building will stand.
From plumbing and construction to business administration and computing, the learners from the current Aberdare campus were able to see first-hand where their specific course will be located in the new building. Visiting the site for the first time, the learners spoke with their Principal Judith Evans about what facilities they can expect come next September, specifically designed to give them the best quality education possible and meet the needs of their chosen industry.
Two of the learners who on site to â€˜peg outâ€™ the layout of the new campus were Rhys Harding and Matthew Bullock, who are both studying towards their level 3 diploma in IT.
Rhys Harding, (20), from Mountain Ash, said: â€œWeâ€™ve been able to see the designs before, but itâ€™s great to get an idea of how the new campus will look. Itâ€™s definitely going to offer learners much more than we currently have. Being close to the train station will also make it much easier for people to get here.â€
Rhysâ€™ course mate, Matthew Bullock (20), who is also from Mountain Ash agreed that the new campus is already attracting interest from potential new students, he commented: â€œThe campus is a definitely a draw, Iâ€™ve already had friends tell me that having a new campus here in the town is one of the reasons theyâ€™re planning to come to the college next year.â€
Located in the heart of Aberdare, the new campus will replace Coleg y Cymoeddâ€™s Cwmdare Road site. The facility has been jointly funded by Welsh Government and Coleg y Cymoedd.
Judith Evans, Principal of Coleg y Cymoedd, who was at the site while the pegging out took place, said: â€œThis exercise was extremely valuable for our learners as it means they are involved right from the start of the construction process, and the ability for learners from all different courses to get on site and see where their new campus will sit is testament to our close working relationship with Kier.
â€œItâ€™s so exciting to see the construction team make headway on the new campus, helping in our mission to make excellence in education and skills development a reality for all learners in the communities we serve.â€
The siteâ€™s proximity to Aberdare railway station, the new Aberdare Community School and the town centre will provide learners and staff with significantly improved access to public transport and commuter links from outlying areas.
Jason Taylor, Operations Director at Kier was also on site. He said: â€œThis is the first real milestone for the project and we were delighted to welcome staff and learners on-site. Some of these learners will go on to be the future workforce in the construction industry, so it means a great deal that they were part of this event and actually responsible for the pegging outâ€Â