A NEW £4 million school being built is well on the way to completion with the opening date set for January next year.

Greenhill Primary School in Gelligaer was built in December 1969 has 165 pupils but it will be replaced by the new building funded by the Welsh Assembly.

It will have seven classrooms, a nursery, hall, kitchen, library, IT room, music room, two special resource bases and administration facilities.

There will be an amphitheatre for outdoor learning, a wetland area, forest walks and soft play areas. The external areas will also include improved parking facilities and a replacement playing field area.

The building is designed to be highly energy efficient, and incorporates many sustainability features such as highly insulated walls, floors and roof, a rainwater recycling system, four wind turbines producing electricity for the school and a combined heat and power unit which will provide hot water while also generating electricity.

There are plans to install solar PV panels on the south-facing roof, which the designers say would be the largest array of such panels on a school anywhere in the UK.

This will provide the school with electricity at a fixed energy tariff. Surplus electricity will be exported to the National Grid.

The school has been designed and managed by the Building Consultancy of Caerphilly County Borough Council to achieve a BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) "Excellent" rating.