Monmouthshire to get two new secondary schools by 2016
Two new secondary schools will be built in Monmouthshire by 2016 as part of £80m plans to upgrade facilities.
The new buildings in Monmouth and Caldicot will cater for 3,100 pupils between them and will replace existing schools in both areas.
It is part of the 21st Century Schools programme which will eventually replace four secondary schools in the county and improve local primary schools.
The work will be part-funded by the Welsh government.
Councillors gave the go-ahead for building work to start on a £33m school to replace Monmouth Comprehensive School for 1,600 pupils at a meeting on Thursday.
Also approved was a 1,500-student school costing £31m to replace Caldicot Comprehensive School.
Additional funding will be allocated to refurbish feeder primary schools in both areas.
In 2011 Monmouthshire council considered using the money to refurbish its secondary schools.
But a report to councillors said those plans were scrapped in favour of new builds claiming they were better value for money in the long term.
The new schools will provide modern teaching and learning environments and more sustainable buildings, it said.
The total £80m cost will be split between the council and the Welsh government under its 21st Century Schools programme.
This is a joint initiative with local authorities to improve the standards of schools in Wales.