£1/2M Portadown hockey pitch lying idle

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A junior high school’s £500,000 synthetic hockey pitch is still lying idle six months after its planned handover date – with a team of experts called in last week by the Education Authority to examine the quality of the work.

The Portadown Times has learned that no matches, or training, have taken place on the Killicomaine Junior High School state-of-the-art pitch, which was planned to be operational for the autumn term.

A statement from the Authority said, “In February 2015, the Southern Library and Education Board (now known as the Education Authority) confirmed the award of a capital works contract for installation of a 2G sand-dressed hockey pitch at Killicomaine Junior High School. The agreed completion date for this contract was June 2015.

“Following an inspection of the pitch on December 15, the Education Authority (EA) has sought an independent specialist to test the pitch and prepare an assessment report against the original contract specification. The primary focus of the EA is to ensure that the pitch facility is available for handover to Killicomaine Junior High School as a fully functioning 2G synthetic sand dressed pitch completed to Federation of International Hockey (FIH) standards.”