The Construction Excellence in Wales awards shortlist has been announced and HLM Architects has made the list in both the Building Project of the Year and Digital Construction Award with Pencoedtre High School, Barry, Wales.

Designed by HLM and built by Bouygues UK, the project forms part of a £34.7 million investment from the Sustainable Communities for Learning programme, a long-term strategic investment in schools and colleges throughout Wales developed by the Vale Council and Welsh Government.

The school includes two three-storey teaching wings, connected by wide corridors and large windows to increase ventilation, centred around an open plan dining hall, main hall, and courtyard. The design incorporated state of the art music studios, science labs and a fitness suite, alongside a full-size sports hall that connects directly to the external sporting facilities, also designed by HLM, which are expected to be open to the local community outside of school hours. The external sporting facilities, which are under construction, offer a high-quality, multi-functional area that can be used to enhance learning and wellbeing, with spaces for socialising, learning, recreation and relaxing.

The focus on the local community has been evident throughout the project, as student ambassadors worked with the contractors to give pupils exclusive access to the site throughout construction, enabling them to learn about different stages of the build. As a result, the “topping out” ceremony was marked through some of the student ambassadors signing the building’s main beam.

Gareth Woodfin, Cardiff Studio Director, HLM Architects, said, “We’re delighted that Pencoedtre High School has been shortlisted for two Construction Excellence in Wales awards. These new facilities will provide students with the resources they need to excel academically while extending support to the local community by acting as a central hub for residents in the surrounding area, aligning with our design philosophy to help positively shape the areas we serve.”

Shortlisted entrants will now be required to present to a panel of judges at the end of April beginning of May and then the winners will be announced at an awards ceremony taking place on Friday 17th June at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport.

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