A FORMER YMCA has been transformed into a makeshift primary school to house pupils who were unable to return to the classroom.

The Newport Live Connect Centre, previously Newport YMCA, will open today as a temporary home to a primary school.

Years Three, Four and Five from St Andrew's Primary School, in Jenkins Street, off Corporation Road, will begin learning in the building today.

Almost 300 pupils from the school had been left without classrooms after "significant structural issues" were found in the school building.

A maintenance inspection at St Andrew's Primary School in March forced one of its buildings to close, shortly before pupils were due to return to the classroom.

While Year Six pupils were moved to Lliswerry High School, remaining year groups had nowhere to learn.


Newport City Council said they were working "urgently" to find alternative arrangements for the children.

Weeks later Newport Live offered the Connect Centre, in Mendalgief Road, as a base for the school and work began on making the building ready.

This included upgrading the alarm system to the required standards for so many primary school children.

It also meant work was carried out on the grounds to make sure they can have a suitable outdoor play area.

Transport will be provided to take the children from St Andrew’s to the Connect Centre, and back again, each day.

A small number of young people who were using the Connect Centre for alternative education programmes have moved to the Rivermead Centre in Rogerstone, where they will continue to receive learning and teaching.