THE £21million redevelopment of Coleg Cambria Yale will transform education in Wrexham.
The Grove Park Road site is due to be finished in July and open this September in time for the 2020/21 academic year.
Improved facilities include a new-look kitchen and restaurant, a sports complex, cutting-edge study spaces, IT suites and a 200-seat conference hall.
Bodelwyddan-based Wynne Construction is ahead of schedule and much of the 96,000 sq ft building has been completed already, including the concrete flooring.
Vertical insulation cladding is in the process of being covered with rain-screen cladding to finish and water-proof external walls, all classroom and office walls are constructed, and electrical and mechanical works are underway.
In the coming weeks a crane will be on-site to lift plant equipment onto the roof, solar panels are to be installed and the new entrance from Chester Road begins taking shape.
Among them was council leader Cllr Mark Pritchard, who said:
“Coleg Cambria is a key partner for the council and we have been delighted by the way the college has developed since 2013.
“This development is brilliant news for Wrexham and builds on the £10m investment in engineering and construction training at Bersham Road.”
The Welsh Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams, added:
“I’m delighted to have announced our decision to fund redevelopment work at Coleg Cambria’s Yale site.
“A key element of Band B of the 21st Century Schools and Education programme is to invest in projects that seek to turn our education institutions into community hubs; allowing them to become more than just schools.
“Once the renovation work has been completed, the facilities provided at the new Yale site will greatly benefit the local community and ensure that students are able to learn in a modern environment which is truly befitting of the 21st Century.”
Former Yale student Liam Wynne, now Managing Director of St Asaph-based IT firm Pinacl-GDA, said the college has come a long way in a short space of time.
“It is great to hear this flagship project has been approved; it will be a key enabler in the local economy to drive skill enhancement and retention, positively benefiting the region,” he said.
“Our business has experienced significant growth over the last few years but have had difficulty in sourcing ‘local talent’. It is great to see David Jones driving this initiative, resulting in a truly innovative college on our doorstep which will allow local students to be fully immersed in a learning environment replicating the modern work space, truly agile and mobile, embracing all elements of digital technology.”
Cambria Chief Executive Yana Williams looks forward to unveiling the building and further enhancing the student experience.
“The revamped Yale site will impact on learners in Wrexham for generations to come,” said Ms Williams.
“Coleg Cambria has invested tens of millions in new buildings across north east Wales – notably Bersham Road in
Wrexham, Deeside Sixth Form Centre and Cambria Business School in Northop – and there is more to come at our land-based education campus in Llysfasi, where a rural education hub is under construction.
“It is an exciting time for the college, and while the facilities are important this commitment to providing high-quality, modern and innovative study environments shows our students, their families and the local community they are our number one priority.”
She added: “I am delighted swift progress has been made and the new Yale building will be ready ahead of the next academic year.
“Our young people can be inspired and challenged to meet their potential here and progress to the best university courses, apprenticeships and employment. We can’t wait to see the completed project and open its doors this September.”
Graham Dickson, Contracts Manager at Wynne Construction, confirmed the scheme was “progressing well”.
“The internal partition walls and plaster finishes are nearing completion to the first and second floors and the under-floor heating installation and floor screeds are due to start in the next couple of weeks,” he added.
“The team has worked very well together on all aspects so far and, overall, the project is on programme and budget.”