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Pavilion plans to put Newport school on the sporting map

Newport | Education | Published:

Long-needed plans for a new sports pavilion are finally going ahead at a Newport school, and bosses say it will put it on the sporting map.

The planned pavilion

Just three months ago Haberdasher's Adams announced it would finally replace the old pavilion at its playing fields at Longford and invited parents and alumni to support its fundraising campaign for new facilities. Since then it has successfully raised almost two thirds of the total amount needed for a new pavilion.

Over the summer holidays the old building was torn down, and work on the new one began.

Headmaster Gary Hickey said: “We have needed to replace the pavilion for many years but as a state school we’ve simply not had the funds to be able to do it.

"More urgent projects have had to take priority and the building is simply no longer fit for purpose.

"A wooden structure built in the 1960s, when the school was half the size that it is now, we’ve had gaping holes in walls, home and away teams having to change in the same changing room, no working showers with all the plumbing needing replacing, and no facilities for our Sixth Form girls.

"It has certainly left our pupils feeling very ashamed, especially when they see, first-hand, the amazing facilities that so many other schools have.”

Desperate to provide better facilities for everyone, Adams submitted a bid for funding to the Department for Education and was successfully awarded £545k.

“This has given us a fantastic start” Mr Hickey added.

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“To secure the funding we have had to break ground within a given timeframe while continuing to raise the remaining £745k that is needed to complete the project but thanks to the support of a number of our governors, parents and alumni, we have already raised £260k since launching our campaign in May and this, together with the DfE funding, means we are now almost two-thirds of the way to having a new pavilion.

"With everyone’s support, we could have a new pavilion in just five months.”

The total build cost for the school’s new pavilion is £1.29 million.

Mr Hickey said: “Longford Hall and grounds are Grade II* listed so the heritage issues have impacted significantly on material choice and cost but we are also creating a much bigger pavilion than before with deep enough footings to future proof us adding another floor one day, planning permitting.”

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Mike Osborne, the school’s campaign chair and governor says: “The school has improved its facilities enormously over recent years, adding a dedicated Sixth Form centre and a hugely impressive music centre, all thanks to the support of parents, alumni, governors and the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers.

“Adams is regarded as one of the leading sporting schools in the Midlands with some of the finest playing fields and yet the pavilion and changing rooms were arguably the worst in the county.

"Sport remains at the heart of school life and I really hope that with the support once more of our parents, friends, alumni and governors we can give our pupils the facilities that befit the high level of sport played at Adams.”

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