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and budget on a sensitive greenfield site would be a tough enough assignment. But architects Austin-Smith:Lord (ASL) and the wider project team also had to contend with local opposition to the merging of two existing schools so that Ysgol Bro Dinefwr could go ahead. The £30m school, near Llandeilo in Carmarthenshire, is now complete, provid- ing education for 1,200 pupils. Included on site are sports and vocational catering facili- ties plus a special education needs unit for autistic pupils. However, during the design stage, elements of the community in this part of Wales made their opposition to the project very clear. The chosen site was particularly


T


aken alone, the challenge of re- imagining a new secondary school's design to address issues with scale


unpopular in the market town of Llandovery, 12 miles away, which was the location of one of the schools to be closed in the merger.


Vocal opposition


Andrew Lewis, lead architect for ASL on this project, says: “There was a lot of vocal opposition to the closure of that school. That made development of the new school quite difficult.” He adds: “We've a track record designing a broad range of schools and we always like to consult with future users and stakeholders, such as the senior management team, the governors, the pupils. So when there's a lack of trust, but also active opposition, that makes it tricky to engage people in the architecture.” Things improved once construction finally got under way. “Once it was devel-


ADF JUNE 2017


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