SPORT and physical exercise in St Joseph’s Catholic High School has been given a huge boost thanks to Slough Borough Council and a brand new four court sports hall.

It is part of an agreement to reorganise their playing fields and the former Arbour Vale School site.

In September 2014, cabinet members made the decision to reorganise the site to ensure the council could build the Arbour Park Community Sports Stadium; provide land for a new free school, and more opportunities for people to get active more often.

The reorganisation included working with St Joseph’s to provide a new four court sports hall; multi-use games area; the conversion of the current hall to classrooms, and a dance studio.

The agreement also enables the school to use the new professional standard 3G pitch for a set number of hours per week.

Slough Observer:

PHOTO: (l-r) Jessica Moore, 16, and Hannah Wilkins, 15, with a volleyball in the new sports hall at St Joseph's School.

School playing fields are only allowed to be changed as long as the school ends up with the same area of playing surface after a change as before, and where sporting provision is at least the same or of better quality.

The wider agreement also included working with the Education Funding Agency [EFA] to earmark land within the whole site to build a new free school - Lynch Hill Enterprise Academy.

The work to build the sports hall started in January 2016 and has continued at the same time as works to construct the sports stadium. Phase two of the works started in August and will continue until May 2017.

Slough Observer:

PHOTO: Observer sports reporter, Rob Stevens, met with a group of young sporting talent from St Joseph's School on Monday. Read their thoughts in the paper this Friday.

Both projects are being delivered by Slough Urban Renewal.

Councillor Joginder Ball, the commissioner for the environment and leisure, said: "We were given the unique opportunity to rearrange the whole of the Arbour park site to ensure we could build a community stadium, and create new and improved facilities for St Joseph's.

"By working with the school and the EFA we've managed to regenerate this part of Slough so that it now has a new secondary school, sports stadium, playing fields and sports hall - all facilities that can be enjoyed by the community to help them become more active more often.

"The handing over of the keys to the school marks an important milestone as it signifies the end of a council project that took a lot of work to complete, and the start of a new beginning for St Joseph's."

Grab an Observer this Friday for more as sports reporter visited St Joseph's on Monday and spoke with some of their young sporting talent.