ISG & Stride Treglown’s form model school is first in Wales

ISG and Stride Treglown’s highly flexible FORM model school has secured major backing from the Vale of Glamorgan County Council, which has selected the design concept for its new £2.7million Nant Talwg School in Barry. The project has key significance within Wales as it represents the first practical application of a model school template in the country.

Ysgol Nant Talwg will be ISG and Stride Treglown’s fifth model school, with successfully completed projects at Old Sarum and Amesbury Archer in Wiltshire, Jennetts Park in Berkshire and St Martin’s in Devon. The jointly developed FORM school delivers modern, dynamic and affordable education space.

Starting this November, ISG is constructing the new Welsh Medium School on a site adjacent to the existing Ysgol Nant Talwg, which has outgrown its current facilities. The single entry school will accommodate 210 pupils and a nursery, with the single-storey steel frame building also incorporating a spacious central hub area, multi-use hall, office space and meeting rooms.

As part of the project, ISG will remove and relocate the temporary existing teaching accommodation to a different site when the new school opens in time for the start of the 2014 academic year. Externally, new hard and soft play areas will be created alongside an attractive landscaping scheme.

The FORM school will achieve a BREEAM Excellent environmental performance rating, with true lean construction design, natural ventilation and, at Ysgol Nant Talwg, roof mounted photovoltaic cells to generate emission free electricity. The design maximises daylight levels with its generously proportioned classroom windows and roof lights illuminating the central hub.

Simon Trew, divisional director at Stride Treglown, commented:

“Our family of FORM school models addresses the need for a template design that still offers flexibility to clients and end-users. Stride Treglown’s education design experience partnered with ISG’s affordable construction expertise represents a compelling offer for Local Authorities looking to meet their challenging school building programme over the next five years.”

The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Chris Elmore added:

“Ysgol Nant Talwg represents a pioneering and innovative local authority project that is certain to be closely scrutinised by many Welsh councils. The decision to procure the school outside the more typical framework route ideally suits this new school design ethos, resulting in significant savings and efficiencies and actively supporting the Welsh Government’s (WG) 21st Century Schools Programme agenda.

“One of the most striking aspects of the FORM school is the degree of flexibility in-built within the design, and far from constraining what we are able to achieve at Ysgol Nant Talwg – a common view of many ‘model schools’, we will actually achieve high quality accommodation that addresses our current and future requirements.”

ISG’s Alan McCarthy-Wyper, managing director – Construction, added:

“Our FORM school is a tried and tested formula for delivering outstanding learning environments that are tailored to individual specifications. One size does not fit all within the education sector and key to the success of FORM schools is the hugely adaptable basis of the design to account for site constraints, school priorities, budgets and end-user requirements.”