PLANS to demolish a former college site in Ebbw Vale have been put on hold as it is now set to become the temporary home for Cwmcarn High School pupils.
Coleg Gwent intends to demolish its old campus in Ebbw Vale after transferring lessons to the new £33.5 million Learning Zone on the site of the town’s former steelworks.
It submitted a planning application to Blaenau Gwent council on October 21 for prior notification of the proposed demolition of the College Road site.
Coleg Gwent’s deputy principal Guy Lacey said no firm decisions have been made but that ultimately the site will be redeveloped.
But Mr Lacey told the Argus that plans to decommission the site have now been delayed following a request by Caerphilly council to use it for the teaching of pupils from Cwmcarn High School.
An emergency meeting of Caerphilly council on Tuesday night heard how the school’s 937 students would move up to Coleg Gwent’s former campus in Ebbw Vale from November 5 on a short term basis.
Cwmcarn High School closed to pupils on October 12 following concerns about asbestos and the council said long-term arrangements are being looked into.
Mr Lacey said the arrangement is not happening on a “commercial basis” with Caerphilly council covering the operational costs of running the site and its recommissioning which will include reactivitating the heating, ventilation, IT and telephone systems.
He said the college is working with the council and the school to ensure there is minimal disruption to the pupils’ studies.
A Caerphilly council spokesman said: “We are grateful for the support and co-operation of Coleg Gwent.”
A spokeswoman for Blaenau Gwent council said it has been notified of the college’s intention to demolish the site and it was considering the method of demolition and restoration.
She said the college is not required to give the reason for demolition and the council is only looking at the logistics of the demolition works.
Parent backs move to new location
CWMCARN High School parent Emma Verrier said she supports the plan for a temporary move to the Ebbw Vale campus and hopes the longer term aim would be for learners to go back to the Cwmcarn site as soon as it is viable to do so.
She said: “The temporary accommodation would not cause us any issues as following the health and wellbeing of the children it’s the togetherness of the learners and the staff that is paramount.”
A number of students took part in the Argus’ live blog on Tuesday night.
Rarediscovery said: “So happy we’re all staying together. Can’t get over how amazing my teachers are.”
JessHardacker1 added: “Just be happy that you can still have your lessons and get taught by the same teachers instead of having to move school.”
But lahardistry wrote: “Ebbw Vale is just too far. Use the £1.4 million for temporary buildings on the Cwmcarn site.”
hannahjenks said: “Moving the entire school to Ebbw Vale? We’ll spend more time travelling than actually learning.”