A new secondary school building in Rhyl, Denbighshire – which has had a transformative impact on the local community - has won a national award for planning.
The new Rhyl High School building, home to 1,200 pupils – an increase on previous numbers - co-locates 45 pupils from nearby Ysgol Tir Morfa Community Special School, won the RTPI Cymru Wales Planning Award. The annual award celebrates projects which demonstrate outstanding planning.
The three-storey building – with high quality functional and flexible design - has a range of new spaces including a multi-purpose main atrium, which can be used as performance hall, dining room and by the community outside of school hours.
Jan Tyrer MRTPI, Chair of the Judging Panel said:
“We were very impressed with the nature and extent of the pupil and community consultation process and its impact in terms of engaging a community that historically has felt marginalised and overlooked. The community and pupil input led to fundamental changes to the siting of the building as well as input into the design, materials and colour schemes used producing a positive community perception of the process.
This productive consultation process has ensured community ownership of the building and together with its high quality functional and flexible design has created a place which inspires and reinforces the key message that learning improves confidence and helps transform lives by improving people’s life chances.”
Claire Armitstead, Head of Rhyl High School said:
"We were delighted with the award we received. It shows how “we got it right” for our children and in partnership with Denbighshire Council and the Welsh Government created a building that allows our pupils to thrive."
The new building also incorporates a range of sustainability and energy efficiency measures and its sustainability is rated “Excellent” using the internationally recognised certification system known as ‘BREEAM’.
It features key renewable and low carbon technologies such as a biomass heating system, air source heat pumps and solar panels. It also optimises natural lighting and ventilation, low energy/high efficiency equipment and a building management system to further improve the building’s environmental performance.
The RTPI Cymru Wales Planning Award was presented to Mrs Claire Armitstead, the Head of Rhyl High Schoolduring a visit to Rhyl High School in February (pictured above with students).