A site for a new £5m primary school has been proposed by Gwynedd Council as it looks to replace a “very poor” and “beyond repair” 1970s building.
Next week, the Cabinet is expected to kick-off a public consultation for a new 150-pupil school, just off the A497 on the western approach into Criccieth.
The town’s Ysgol Treferthyr had 114 pupils on the books in September 2019, just short of the school’s capacity of 119.
But having already successfully secured the bulk of the funding thanks to the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools Programme, the authority looks set to contribute the remaining £1.89m of the estimated £5.4m cost.
This will include the purchase of the site, however, which is not currently owned by the authority.
If approved, the new school will have a capacity of 150, and will be set to open in September 2023, while also becoming the new home to an ABC and language disorder unit as it moves from its present location of Ysgol Cymerau in Pwllheli.
The Cabinet report highlights significant issues with the current building, describing it as “significantly impairing the staff’s ability to deliver the curriculum”.
The defects are said to include noise creating problems in some rooms, issues with temperature control and its dated design resulting in disruption to lessons.
The report goes on to note: “Following condition surveys, the council’s property service is of the opinion that the school is now beyond repair and maintenance.
“A substantial part of the school was built in the 1970s using a Vic Hallam-type structure, which had a lifespan of approximately 25 years, and is now in a poor condition.
“Unless plans are made now for a long-term solution, there is a high risk of having to deal with an urgent situation during the next few years.”
Any move would not affect school staffing, say education officers, but would provide more space as well as further options for extracurricular clubs and activities.
The local councillor, Eirwyn Williams, said: “Criccieth really needs a new primary school and following being part of the discussions, I agree that the favoured site is a very good choice as a location.”
Cllr Cemlyn Rees Williams, the Cabinet member for education, added: “We are eager to ensure that children in communities across Gwynedd have access to the best possible educational resources.
“The current Ysgol Treferthyr building has seen better days and it would be uneconomical to continue to try and maintain the buildings for the future.
“Our aim is to build a new school that will provide modern facilities for the children of Criccieth that will enable them to reach their full potential.”
If members approve the report on Tuesday, 13 October, a consultation period will be held over the coming months with any feedback being reported back before final Cabinet approval.