Sophisticated plans will save Ruthin's new school from flood risks

Reporter:

Andrew Martin

A team of water management experts has come up with a plan to safeguard a £10.5 million new primary school site and local homeowners from the risk of flooding.

Ruthin-based Waterco didn’t have far to go for one of their latest major contracts - Denbighshire County Council’s flagship new primary school is being built just a few hundred yards from their offices.

It will replace the site currently used by Rhos Street School and Ysgol Penbarras and is due to open in the Spring of 2018 as part of the 21st Century Schools and Education Programme being delivered in partnership  with the Welsh Government.

The site posed a number of challenges following flooding in 2012 which affected nearby homes.

Now a sophisticated plan developed by the Waterco team on behalf of the council for the Glasdir school site and carried out by main contractors Wynne Construction, from Rhuddlan, will allay fears of further flooding.

Senior Civil Engineer Chris Lewis has led the Waterco team which used advanced modelling techniques to predict flood risks and to alleviate them.

He said: “As a local firm we’re well aware that there has been a lot of concern about the flood risk.

“We were asked by the council to address this from the point of view of the new school but the recommendations which Wynne have followed mean that we have also reduced the risk to the homes on Glasdir.

“We have raised the level of the new school, which was already above the flood risk level, by between one and two metres and introduced measures so that in the worst case scenario the water would run off onto the nearby playing fields and to areas on the site before gradually dispersing naturally.

“This would mean that rather than flooding the houses on Glasdir the flood water would be held there.”

Waterco tested their flood risk management and drainage scheme through hydraulic modelling carried out by specialist Bethan Lloyd Jones and director Pedr Jones who said: “Modelling has shown that the Glasdir school site will remain flood free during a range of low-likelihood flood events and considered the blockage of local structures in accordance with Welsh Planning Policy.”

Cllr Hugh Evans, leader of Denbighshire County Council, visited the scheme and he said: “We are committed to providing fit for purpose education facilities for our children and young people and I am delighted to see work progressing on this school which will be a superb facility for students.

“It was important to us a council to get this development right and ensure the flood risk was reduced, not only for the school but also for the surrounding area.

“This project is demonstrating through the use of a local supply chain, how large capital projects funded by Denbighshire County Council and Welsh Government are contributing towards a prosperous Wales.

“This project will not only deliver benefits to the residents of Ruthin and the surrounding area, but it is also helping developing the local economy, creating high-skilled, well-paid jobs by supporting local businesses like Waterco and Wynne Construction.”

Chris Wynne, Managing Director of Wynne Construction, said: “Working in partnership with our local SME supply chain, currently 71 per cent of the project spend has been placed with companies situated within 30 miles of the Ruthin site, and 75 per cent of the workforce live in North Wales, creating sustainability and safeguarding local jobs.”

Email:

andrew.martin@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the Free Press

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