3:03pm Sunday 27th October 2013
PARENTS, teachers and future pupils at Cwmcarn High School returned to the site briefly last week for an opening evening.
The drama block at the school was opened on Thursday, October 17, for the teaching staff to meet parents of Year 6 pupils and discuss plans for the future.
Caerphilly council and the school leadership had hoped to re-open the school in early November, following the October half-term holiday. But in a joint statement earlier this month, both said “additional works will cause a further delay to this timescale” and it would not likely to fully open until 2014.
Asbestos removing work was previously delayed following the death of 26-year-old contractor James Paul, who had been working on the site. An inquest opening heard that Mr Paul, from Abertillery, was electrocuted, with an investigation delaying asbestos-removal work.
There were protests earlier this year urging Caerphilly council to re-open Cwmcarn High School, with pupils moved to a site in Ebbw Vale.
But speaking after the brief return, head teacher Jacqui Peplinski, said: “We were thrilled to be able to get back on site for this important event in our annual school calendar.
“Even though it was for just one meeting, the fact that we were able to get back on site sends a clear message to the community that we will soon be coming home to Cwmcarn. I would like to thank the council and the contractors for all their efforts to make the event possible.
“We really appreciate the effort and commitment that has been shown by all involved in these major works to date.”
Asbestos removal and remediation works have now been completed within the school buildings and contractors are undertaking other essential works in readiness for the school’s full return after Christmas. Caswell Group are the main asbestos contractor at the site.
Rhianon Passmore, Caerphilly council cabinet member for Education, said: “It’s great to see that real progress is being made and I hope that there is a renewed confidence in the community that the countdown is now on for the school to re-open.
“It has been a difficult 12 months, but we must now look forward and start making preparations for the big move back home to Cwmcarn.”
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