Fears over future of school site
11:23am Wednesday 23rd October 2013 in News
Community councillors in Drefach have said they fear the site of the former Ysgol y Gwendraeth will become “a ghetto” unless realistic proposals for its future are drawn up.
Clive Green told members of Gorslas council he had been greatly concerned to learn there were no plans for any work to be carried out at the site until at least 2020.
“Ysgol y Gwendraeth will close completely within two years,” said Cllr Green.
“The buildings will deteriorate.
“I do not want to see the site turning into some kind of ghetto with smashed windows and graffiti everywhere.”
The school officially closed its doors at the end of last term and all pupils transferred to the new Ysgol Maes y Gwendraeth in Cefneithin.
Cllr Green said he had been disappointed by comments from local authority chief executive Mark James that the council was yet to seriously consider the future of the site.
“Mr James told me the council has now set up a group to investigate possibilities for the site,” he said.
“What worries me though is that the future of the Ysgol Pantycelyn site in Llandovery has been predetermined. That school is not due to close for another two years, but the use of the site is sorted out.
“Ysgol y Gwendraeth has already closed and only now are they starting to think what they should do with it.
“Only recently, £2million was spent on a new hall. What will become of that? Nobody seems to know.
“The real problem is that the county council’s record of selling off redundant assets is not good.”
A Carmarthenshire county council spokesman stressed that the site was still in use and was “being utilised” by former pupils.
Meanwhile, the Garreg Lwyd Autistic Unit will also remain at the site until the completion of the new Ysgol Bro Dinefwr in Ffairfach – currently planned for September 2015.
The spokesman said: “Proposals for the future of the former Gwendraeth School site are currently in development.
“Officers of the authority are working up an exit strategy for the future use of the site so that by the time the property becomes vacant, there will be an agreed plan in place.
“One of the options being explored is the feasibility of the authority retaining the site for future primary education.
“There are currently primary school reorganisation projects in the Drefach and surrounding area in the authority’s Modernising Education Programme that could be considered.”
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