Ainscough Crane Hire swung by Penarth Learning Community to take part in a traditional topping out ceremony on Wednesday 18th September, celebrating the school’s construction reaching its highest point. The medieval ritual required a 40-tonne Liebherr to lift a yew tree to the top of the new combined mainstream and SEN (special educational needs) school building.
The £39.4 million project will create two new schools in a single building on the site of St Cyres School in Penarth. The project will provide facilities for the mainstream comprehensive school, and will also create a new SEN school, Ysgol y Deri. The new SEN school will accommodate pupils from three others in the area: Ysgol Erw’r Delyn, Ysgol Maes Dyfan and Ashgrove School.
Jane Wade, Operations Manager Property for Vale of Glamorgan Council, said: “This is a very exciting project for the Vale of Glamorgan Council and forms an important part of the council’s 21st century schools programme. The topping out marks an important date in the progress of the project, which not only provides state of the art facilities for the schools but also for the whole community.”
Ainscough’s Cardiff Depot Manager Darren Williams added: “While we’ve completed thousands of lifts in our time, the topping out of Penarth Learning Community was certainly a unique experience. It was a pleasure to be involved with the enthusiastic staff and pupils of this wonderful school, and the ceremony marks an exciting new chapter for the community.”
Huw Lewis AM, Minister for Education and Skills, and representatives from the construction team attended the ceremony. Also in attendance was Rob Bradley, Managing Director of Leadbitter and Bouygues UK’s Western team, which is building the new schools.
Mr Bradley said: “The topping out marks an important milestone in construction, which is progressing very well. We are working closely with the Vale of Glamorgan and teachers, governors, pupils and parents from all four schools, as well as the local community, throughout the project. This will help ensure the new schools will provide the best possible education, social welfare and healthcare for all pupils.”