• Redevelopment of flagship special needs school for North Wales
  • Constrained site with access difficulties
  • Works delivered while school remained operational
  • Extensive logistics planning and stakeholder engagement

Willmott Dixon's redevelopment of Ysgol-y-Gogarth school involved creation of many bespoke facilities, to meet the requirements of special needs education.

These included a hydrotherapy pool, light room, quiet room, an ICT suite, sensory and autism classrooms, outdoor learning environments, outdoor pursuits facilities, and vocational areas such as horticulture, car valeting and a deli bar.

The school caters for more than 50 pupils with autism or who have been diagnosed with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD).

The redevelopment was designed as a series of hubs on two levels, comprising:

  • a sports and recreation hub, which includes the sports hall, hydrotherapy pool and associated changing, staff and storage accommodation
  • the PMLD (profound multiple learning disabilities) unit
  • the health and treatment hub which includes physiotherapy.

One of the principal constraints we faced was the need to keep the existing school facilities operational during construction. Additionally, the work had to be delivered on a constrained site in a busy area. This meant careful planning of logistics and regular liaison with school staff, and an understanding of the unique sensitivities of special needs education.

The school was built to meet the requirements for special needs education and the Welsh Government's 21st Century School programme.


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