A new £120,000 Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) opened at Orchard County Primary School last Friday, replacing the original grass sports pitch.
The facility, which consists of a third generation (3G) underlay with second generation (2G) surface, was opened by Education Minister Peter Weir.
Every of the 185 pupils has regular, time-tabled access to the pitch for games and PE, and the MUGA is also used as the school’s main break and lunchtime playground and.
Principal Stephen Blevins said it is also of benefit to the community, with the Boys’ Brigade using it for their football league matches. The school is also hoping to build on its community usage.
He added, “This school has a long and proud tradition of sporting excellence. Having won two NI Football Primary Schools’ Cups recent years, we have shown that with the right opportunities, we can compete with the very best in the province.
“In prioritising the need for this resource on our site, the Department and the Education Authority have ensured those proud sporting traditions as well as sporting opportunities will continue for generations to come.”
Kenneth Twyble, chairman of the Board of Governors, thanked the Minister and the Education Authority for their financial assistance as well as the contractors and EA staff.
The pitch adds to a number of outdoor enhancements by the school’s eco-committee, such as a butterfly garden.