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3G pitch for Olchfa School takes step forward

Plans for a new state-of-the-art 3G pitch and other improved sports facilities at a comprehensive school in Swansea are set to take a step forward.

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Olchfa School, its governing body and Swansea Council have been looking at ways of financing the project.

A parcel of land that has been identified by governors as surplus to requirements could be sold with the proceeds reinvested in the all-weather sports facilities and for improvements at other schools in Swansea.

The plans were announced last year but now the public is being asked for their views. These will be reported to Swansea Council's Cabinet before a decision is taken.

If the scheme goes ahead it will mean pupils at Olchfa will have use of a new full-size 3G pitch as well as two traditional football and rugby fields. The existing running track will be rotated 90 degrees and there will be earthworks to create a spectator area.

Olchfa School has a long history of producing high achieving teams across a variety of sports for both girls and boys but the current facilities have seen better days.

A red gravel pitch for outdoor PE is currently in disrepair and is not safe to play on and the tennis courts are unfit for purpose. The current sports pitches also do not provide a suitable environment for those with disabilities to access the opportunities afforded to others

Headteacher Hugh Davies said: "The sale of surplus school land is often a controversial topic. However, I have to say that, in our experience here, the process so far has been a positive one as it has allowed us to plan for developments at the school, including an exciting new all-weather sports pitch.

"The governing body has tried its best to work closely in partnership with the local authority over the issue of the sale of land in order to secure outcomes that benefit pupils here at Olchfa as well as across the city."

Pupils at Morriston and Penyrheol Comprehensive Schools are benefiting from new 3G pitches that opened in the summer. Like those, the proposed pitch at Olchfa would be available for wider community use when not needed by the school.

Swansea Council's Chief Education Officer Nick Williams said: "This is good example of Swansea Council and our schools working together to benefit education across the city.

"We are publishing a public notice outlining our intention to sell the surplus land but I would stress no decision has been taken and all responses will be brought back to a future Cabinet meeting for further consideration.

"If Cabinet decides to proceed the surplus land will offered for sale and any development would subject to the planning process."

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