Pupils make history in Abergele

A  group of schoolchildren from Abergele made history by burying a time capsule at the new headquarters of a housing association.

The pupils from Ysgol Glan Gele also sang to entertain guests at the official opening of Cartrefi Conwy’s offices on the North Wales Business Park on the outskirts of the town.

It was also a proud day for architecture student Jade Reed-Williams, 20, from Denbigh, who designed the building’s external display sign.

Cartrefi Conwy Chief Executive Andrew Bowden told guests the environmentally friendly building, called Morfa Gele, would not have been possible without the full support of Conwy County Council.

He said: “Seeing this brand new building open for business and gauging the reaction of the 110 members of staff who are now working here, we have got it right.

“No one person could have achieved what we see today in this marvellous airy, bright and professional work area.

“It has been a team effort between Owen Ellis Architects, Ingo Interiors and of course the locally-based Wynne Construction who were appointed as the contractors along with our wonderful Cartrefi Conwy staff.

“We are also delighted that Morfa Gele, which means costal marsh near the river in Welsh, sets a new standard in environmental best practice.

“Two thirds of the roof space is covered in solar panels to provide much of our electricity needs while the water saving sanitary ware has sensors to ensure we use the minimal amount of water.

“In addition, we supported the local area with all the timber, stone, block work, aggregates and concrete sourced from North Wales as well as 76% of the labour involved in the construction project was from the local area too.”

Andrew Bowden paid tribute to former Llandrillo College student Jade Reed-Williams after the sign she designed was unveiled.

He added: “Jade was tasked with creating a design befitting of this new building. She presented to us a concept of a limestone plinth and glass upper block with our logo etched upon it and lit from below using energy from our solar panels.

“I was also delighted to present Jade with a £250 cheque as a thank you for her efforts in creating the wonderful sign that she did.”

“And of course, we were all thrilled to have some of the children from Ysgol Glan Gele join us for the official opening and to put the time capsule in the ground.

“The plan is that the capsule will remain buried, here at Morfa Gele, for 50 years. It contains many things that tell the Cartrefi Conwy story as well as information about the area.

“It also includes newspapers and reports and drawings the children have produced depicting their homes today and how they envisage homes will look half a century from now.”

Jade Reed-Williams was thrilled to be given the opportunity to design the building’s exterior sign.

She said: “I was studying at Llandrillo College on a foundation course when I was approached by my tutor and asked to design the exterior sign for Morfa Gele.

“I went along to Morfa Gele and talked to as many people as I could and played around with some ideas. People talked to me about how Cartrefi Conwy was transparent and open and how, as a social landlord, it engaged with and was well respected by tenants.

“The design sort of came from that really. I wanted it to be simple but send out a strong message. I was a bit nervous about what people would think of the sign but I do think it sits well with the building design and location.”

Jade, who is now studying architecture at Huddersfield University, added: “I was also thrilled to see Julia Buckley-Jones, the head teacher of Ysgol Glan Gele, here at Morfa Gele.

“She taught me as a seven year old at Ysgol Gwaenynog, Denbigh and it was lovely to catch up with her and tell her what I have been up to.”

Julia Buckley-Jones said the children of Ysgol Glan Gele, had really enjoyed preparing art work which was included along with other items and placed within the time capsule before it was buried in the grounds of Morfa Gele.

She said: “As a school we were thrilled to be asked to take part in this project and to come along to the official opening of the building. The children were really excited especially when it came to burying the time capsule in the ground. It is a concept that they have become very excited about.

“The children thought about how they would like to see homes look 50 years from now compared to today and they then turned those ideas into paintings and drawings.”

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