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Building work starts on new sports hall

PUBLISHED: 10:35 13 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:45 03 July 2010

A NORFOLK school yesterday celebrated the start of building work on a £1.4m sports hall set to transform its facilities from “among the worst to among the best in the county”.

A NORFOLK school yesterday celebrated the start of building work on a £1.4m sports hall set to transform its facilities from “among the worst to among the best in the county”.

The present cramped gym at Caister High School, in the village near Yarmouth, will be replaced from September by a facility meeting international standards across a range of sports.

The hall, being designed and built by local firm GF and GM Holmes, will have four multi-purpose

courts for such sports as badminton, indoor tennis, basketball and trampolining.

Headteacher George Denby said: “This will be the final piece in the jigsaw after upgrading everything else from our performing arts to

our automotive engineering department.

“Our need is shown by the fact the old gym was built in 1963 to cater for 260 pupils and we now have more than 800.”

He said they had consciously gone for an exciting design rather than the staid look of many sports halls.

Norfolk County Council has provided £600,000 of funding and the school is hoping to find local business sponsors to help bridge

the £800,000 gap and reduce the need to take out a loan or use capital funds.

Mr Denby said: “Despite having just about the worst facilities anywhere at the moment, we have achieved some shining sporting successes.

“For example our GCSE PE exam results are really good.”

He said the plan was for the hall to be used seven days a week with local sports clubs and sports fans using it during evenings and at weekends.

Yarmouth MP Tony Wright, who watched the builders get under way, described the hall plans as “fantastic”.

He said for too long schools had been starved of modern sports facilities with sport not being seen as important as other subjects.

“Through its community use, this will also address the lack of facilities in rural areas as well.

“It will mean young people will no longer have to travel to Yarmouth's Marina Centre at extra cost,” he said.

The school's head boy and head girl, Bradley Wyatt, 15, and Grace Ellero, 16, both agreed the hall would represent a tremendous step forward.

“I am really quite envious I won't be here to use it,” said Bradley.


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