Catholic school build wins at ICE 2021 Wales Cymru Awards

The all-through school, a Covid hospital and a bridge were some of the civil engineering projects across Wales that were celebrated at a virtual awards ceremony today. 

Judges were impressed with the construction of a new Catholic school for children aged three to 16 in Denbighshire.
Judges were impressed with the construction of a new Catholic school for children aged three to 16 in Denbighshire.

The project team’s approach during the design and construction of Ysgol Gatholig Crist y Gair (Christ the Word Catholic School) helped it to win the top George Gibby Award at the ICE 2021 Wales Cymru awards.

The judges were particularly impressed with the resulting holistic approach to education - a new ‘all-through’ approach providing education for pupils in Denbighshire from age 3 – 16 - coupled with the contractor’s health and safety record, the degree of community involvement and the quality of the project submission. The George Gibby Award celebrates projects over £5 million.

The school, which is part of the Diocese of Wrexham provision, opened its doors to pupils in September 2019. The school features modern facilities, including a sports hall, drama studio, all-weather pitch and chapel.

John Mather, ICE chartered civil engineer and chair of the panel of judges, said: “This year’s competition is notable for the wide range of entries that have been submitted.

“The projects are diverse in nature and in value. They display excellence in different ways, in concept, in design and in construction. Care and attention to detail with respect to health and safety, sustainability and community involvement is widely apparent.”

The awards ceremony took place online on Wednesday 1 December.

Multi-award winner

Other winners this year included the National Botanic Garden of Wales Regency Restoration, which won the Alun Griffiths Award for Community Engagement. The project also won a public vote earlier this year in the ICE People’s Choice Awards.

The project, submitted by WM Longreach Ltd for its client National Botanic Garden of Wales, was the largest of its kind in Wales and the first ecological and landscape restoration completed for a generation. It brings significant benefits to the local community as well as the wider tourism industry.

Ynysangharad Footbridge Pontypridd was highly commended in this category, for the care and attention to detail which enabled the repair, renovation and renewal of this 38m long cable-stayed footbridge which crosses over the River Taff between Pontypridd town centre and the Ynysangharad War Memorial Park.

The project was submitted by WSP Ltd for client, Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council.

Other projects celebrated

Bill Ward Sustainability Award winner: Deeside Park and Ride Facility

(Highly commended - The Gwydir Reservoirs Safety Project)

The Deeside Park and Ride Facility helps deliver key elements of the North Wales Metro and will better connect surrounding communities with the 9,000 jobs the park provides. The project team has clearly placed a high value on sustainability in design and construction; that is in the choice of materials, their incorporation in the works and their performance in service. The project was submitted by Alun Griffiths for client Flintshire County Council.

deeside park and ride

The Designed in Wales Award winner: Bewdley Bank Service Reservoir 

This project, submitted by Mott Macdonald Bentley for for Dŵr Cymru, incorporated a semi-precast structure which allowed significant programme and health and safety benefits during construction.

bewdley bank  reservoir

Chair’s Special Award winner: The Dragon’s Heart Hospital – Principality Stadium Cardiff

The project team successfully delivered a 1,500-bed emergency (surge) hospital at the Principality Stadium within months of the Client’s instruction to start. The first 300 beds were available within 11 days. The management team was on site within 24 hours. The project was submitted by Mott Macdonald for client, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

dragon's heart hospital

The Roy Edwards Award winner: The St Alban’s Bridge restoration project, Blaenrhondda

(Highly commended - The RNLI Lifeboat Station at Pwllheli )

The judges were particularly impressed with the project team’s care and attention to detail, which allowed the seven-span St Alban’s Bridge built in 1934 to be renovated and improved, whilst making best use of its existing piers and foundations with minimal disruption and appropriate community involvement. The project was submitted by Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd for client, Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council.

St Albans Bridge

People awards

Individuals were also recognised at the awards:

  • Ben Barr Award winner: Robert Varley, Arup

Highly commended: Neil Williams

  • ICE Wales Cymru Apprentice of the Year Award (sponsored by SWIEET) winner: Liam Stuckey, Arcadis

Runner up: Dominic Henson

  • STEMM Ambassador of the Year: Luke Cook, Atkins