A VILLAGE primary school has had its new extension roofed with slate from the reopened quarry that supplied the original roof.
The historic Cwt y Bugail Quarry, at Blaenau Ffestiniog, closed in 1961 but recently re-opened and one of its first shipments has been for the extension at Ysgol O M Edwards, at Llanuwchllyn, near Bala, for Gwynedd Council.
The school has been given a £1 million refurbishment by award-winning builders Anwyl Construction who were delighted to be able to get an exact match for the original blue-grey slate roof.
The work carried out at the school made it one of the greenest schools in Wales when it moved into its new constructed and refurbished buildings for the start of the new school year in September.
The school has also had a rainwater harvesting system, a biomass boiler and electricity-generating photovoltaic solar panels on the roof installed as part of the refurbishment.
The traditional Welsh slate, for the school roof, from the historic Cwt y Bugail quarry which first opened in the 1840s. Another shipment of its dark blue-grey slate have been used at the school and at the five-star Me London Hotel, designed by Norman Foster’s company for Melia Hotels, in London's West End.
Simon Rose, Anwyl construction commercial manager who oversaw the project said: “They have a really advanced building now with some great features and they will even generate their own electricity with the solar panels.
"The rainwater harvesting system provides water for the toilets while the biomass boiler is another energy-efficient measure as is the insulated external rendering and we’ve been delighted to be able to be able to source the slate from the original quarry.”
The work carried out has also included the demolition of the old toilet block at the rear and the construction of an extension along with internal remodelling.
Headteacher Dilys Ellis-Jones has also been delighted and she said: “We had an Inspection in 2012 and we were rated excellent for everything except the school buildings which they said were not fit for purpose but now we’ve got the buildings as well.
“Our facilities now are up to and beyond 21st century standard. It’s a place where children can learn in a fantastic environment and it has meant for the first time we can have a nursery and we’re up to 91 pupils."
Councillor Ioan Thomas, Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet Member for Customer Care, said: “We are delighted to see Ysgol O M Edwards, with its rich heritage of national importance, being upgraded to such a high standard.
“We are proud to see our traditional local materials being used in combination with the latest green technology to create a sustainable building of the highest quality.
“We are proud to see our traditional local materials being used in combination with the latest green technology to create a sustainable building of the highest quality. It shows that there is a future for our traditional industries.”