Matthew Arnold School in Staines was recently given a £245,000 grant by the Football Foundation to build a fully flood lit 3 G synthetic football pitch in its grounds.
The project was completed within 12 weeks from start to finish by the UK's leading sports ground specialists - Agripower Contractors. As well as the £245,000 grant, the school had been raising money for three years to reach their £550,000 target.
The school had been working on this project for over three years. It had taken so long because objections from the Environment Agency and English Heritage, meaning that the original plans were changed on a frequent basis.
Due to an ancient relic under the school grounds and residents' concerns over the flood lights, the site of the pitch had to be moved, and the school were not allowed to raise the pitch due to flooding concerns from the Environment Agency. This meant that a lot of the initial digging work had to be hand-dug rather than using excavators and then removed from the site through a busy school.
Roland Davey, Assistant Head Teacher, said: "The relic is a bit of nuisance. Historically it has been classed as a Roman monument but recent research has shown it could have been made near the bronze-age, but we still had to hand-dig the holdings for the flood lights, because the machines may have ruined or damaged the monument."
The artificial surface chosen for this project was the 60mm monofilament D-Vision from Desso Sports Systems. This surface was chosen due to the soft natural appearance and high wear characteristics inherent with Desso Products.
Mr. Davey said: "This is a much needed training facility for the school and it will be used by so many children and groups, boys and girls. Obviously it is good for Matthew Arnold School but also for the surrounding areas as well. It is world class."
The ground will be open to the public for 40 hours a week for coaching, training, and football and rugby matches between schools and clubs. Mr Davey said it will add to Matthew Arnold's current sports facilities and bring in vital extra revenue.
For further information, please contact Agripower Contractors on 01494 866776 or visit www.agripower.co.uk
Image: The Matthew Arnold project was completed within 12 weeks from start to finish by the UK's leading sports ground specialists - Agripower Contractors.