Harpenden school to get £2.8m sports hall

PUBLISHED: 18:01 18 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:01 06 May 2010

Roundwood Park head Nick Daymond

Roundwood Park head Nick Daymond

YEARS of campaigning by parents, governors and students have paid off with the go-ahead for a new sports hall at an oversubscribed secondary school. Roundwood Park School in Harpenden has had its scheme for a new sports hall agreed by Herts County Council

YEARS of campaigning by parents, governors and students have paid off with the go-ahead for a new sports hall at an oversubscribed secondary school.

Roundwood Park School in Harpenden has had its scheme for a new sports hall agreed by Herts County Council and work could start as early as this time next year.

The school has been campaigning for a new sports hall for many years but the issue came to a head in 2005 when the county council decided not to support a plan for an all-weather sports pitch even though it had been given planning permission.

A review was ordered about how the issue had been handled after complaints from Harpenden county councillor Bernard Lloyd and it was decided to reconsider the application - particularly in light of the go-ahead having been given to develop two all-weather pitches at Harpenden Rugby Club.

At the time the county council accepted that the decision would cause disappointment at the school but agreed that they would look into the possibility of obtaining funding for a new schools sports hall.

More than three years later, the county council has voted to include the project in its capital budget and expects to spend around £2.8 million on the final scheme.

Roundwood Park head Nick Daymond said this week that the parents association had been very active in getting signatures on a petition and the governors had also written to councillors in support of the project.

He explained that all the school had currently in terms of indoor facilities was a small gymnasium so they also had to use the assembly hall and occasionally the dining hall even though both had other designated uses.

He said: "We make a creative use of space and sometimes we are forced to use classrooms."

At the moment the school does not know what facilities will be incorporated in the new sports hall but a site has been earmarked for it and the scheme will now be drawn up ahead of seeking planning permission.

Mr Daymond added: "I am very grateful to all parents, governors and students who have made a noise on our behalf and to the county for making the funds available.

"There is a lot of excitement among the student body who have felt for a long time that generations have gone through the school without proper indoor sports facilities.

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