Report outlines proposals for a new Cathays High School

A report which recommends a public consultation is heldon proposals for the expansion and redevelopment of Cathays High School, will go to Cardiff Council’s Cabinet when it meets on Thursday 17, December 2020.

If progressed,the new development would be delivered under Cardiff Council and Welsh Government’sBand B 21stCentury Schools programme as one of its priority schemes.

In December 2017, the Cabinet approved plans to address those schools in poor condition, with major defects or nearing the end of their operational life. Cathays High School was identified as a priority school.

It was also acknowledged, that the expansion and replacement of Cathays High School would also provide an opportunity to meet the projected demand for places from within its catchment area and accommodate excess demand for places from other neighbouring catchment areas, as a result of new housing developments.

Proposals would include:

  • Replacement of the Cathays High School buildings with new build accommodation on the Maindy Centre site adjacent to Crown Way and North Road;
  • Expanding the school from 1,072 places (5.5 Forms of Entry with 247 sixth form places) to 1,450 places (8 Forms of Entry with 250 sixth form places);
  • Expanding the current Specialist Resource Base (SRB) for learners with Autism Spectrum Condition from 16 to 50 places in purpose-built accommodation in the new school buildings;
  • Upgrading community facilities in Cathays and Gabalfa through the significantly enhanced school facilities being made available for shared use with the wider local community;
  • Provide space for the local community to continue to have access to off-road open spaces for informal leisure use, recognising this is the current use at the Maindy site.

If progressed, the school project provides the opportunity to bring forward plans to relocate the Maindy Cycle Track to a new purpose built facility, ensuring that home-grown talent will continue to be supported. The plan is to build a new outdoor track in the heart of Cardiff Bay as part of the next phase development of the International Sports Village.

Leader of Cardiff Council, Cllr Huw Thomas, said: “When prioritising schools within the Band B programme, consideration has been given to the sufficiency of places available, condition of the school buildings and the suitability of the environment for teaching.

“If progressed, a new Cathays High School would not only provide pupils with excellent learning provision but it would be a community focussed school providing improvedsports and community provision, accessible to local people and groups.

“The project would also advance new and exciting opportunities for Maindy Cycle Track.”

The delivery of Band B 21st Century Schools Programme will be supported by the Mutual Investment Model (MIM), a national scheme that has been developed by Welsh Government to borrow funds via the private sector, to design and build schools and to maintain the fabric of the buildings over a 25 year period.

The Council has agreed to a 10 year Strategic Partnering Agreement (SPA) with a joint venture of Welsh Government and private sector partner Meridiam Investments II SAS, to deliver future schools, including in principle Cathays High School.

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