Life’s a pitch: new sport facilities opened at Beaumont School

The new all weather pitches at Beaumont School are offcially opened L-R head teacher Elizabeth Hitch

The new all weather pitches at Beaumont School are offcially opened L-R head teacher Elizabeth Hitch, chair of governors Alex Hall, year 9 pupil Alice Wilding, deputy Lieutenant of Hertfordshire and former pupil Lionel Wallace, portfolio holder for heritage, sports and leisure Cllr Annie Brewster, former teacher and facilities manager Ed jones, year 9 pupil Nell Hayes and Herts county council officer Dick Bowler - Credit: Archant

The grass is indeed greener on the other side at a St Albans secondary school.

New all-weather pitches and a multi-use games area have been officially opened at Beaumont School by district councillor Annie Brewster, the portfolio holder for sport and leisure.

The recent ceremony marked the completion of the first phase of the school’s expansion project with further stages - already underway - to result in extensive new sports facilities over the coming months.

These will include professional standard sports pitches, a four-court sports hall and new classrooms.

Plans for enhancing other areas of Beaumont, including science and arts, are also in place.

Cllr Brewster was joined by representatives from all stages of the project’s planning and construction including Lionel Wallace, a former Beaumont student, and Ed Jones, retired assistant headteacher who worked extensively on the expansion project since its inception in 1996, to provide more places at the over-subscribed school.

Outline planning permission has previously been granted for sports pitches, new classrooms and a residential development - up to 75 homes.

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Herts county council, which owns the school site at Oakwood Drive, exchanged contracts for the sale of part of the school’s current playing field on December 1 last year.

The buyer was Charles Church, part of the Persimmon Group, which will take forward the residential development of the fields.

Beaumont’s expansion project, which includes new pedestrian and cycle links, is being funded from the proceeds of this sale.

The new playing fields are located nearby, to the east of the school buildings.

• Beaumont’s 2015 university challenge champions have recently won second place in the national final of the University of Lincoln’s tournament for sixth forms. Head of sixth form, Paul de Kort, said it was a tremendous achievement as pupils were competing against 12 teams.