Naas CBS is developing a fourth generation (4G) playing surface adjacent to the school which will be able to accommodate a number of sports.
The estimated cost of the development is €1.2m and finance is being sought from a number of sources — grants (€395,000), the school authority (€550,000) and a partnership arrangement €275,000. At a presentation made to a Naas Municipal District meeting, the school stressed the partnership aspect of the plan. Other clubs including Naas GAA and Naas Rugby Football Club have been approached and are supportive of the plans.
The finished pitch will boast a full size soccer field, two basketball courts, a separate warm up area as well; as a walking/running path. It will facilitate GAA games but it won’t have a full size pitch for these.
It will also provide 41 new parking spaces.
Principal Ben Travers said that while a building extension in 2013 provided state-of-the-art education facilities, a new playing surface is needed to accommodate the sports needs of a school which has won two Leinster senior football championship titles in recent years.
“We are the only school in the area that doesn’t have a pitch and this would expand the school’s links with the wider community,” Mr Travers said, adding that it will be open to community and sports groups.
Planning permission will be sought from Kildare County Council once approval is forthcoming from the Department of Education and the pitch will be constructed at the former swimming site, which the CBS will share with St Corban’s Boys National School. The project team are also seeking funding from parents, past pupils and local businesses, as well as KCC.
The project is likely to be supported by other clubs, notably the GAA club because “there is a huge problem in the GAA because it doesn’t have enough space,” said Frank Murphy of the Parents Council. There was support from the councillors for the plan. Naas Mayor Carmel Kelly said there is a shortage of facilities like these in Naas and Cllr Seamie Moore said he had sought land to be provided for this purpose, adding “Naas can’t have enough facilities”.
Cllr Bill Clear said that more grants would be forthcoming if the project facilitated more minority sports.
Cllr Vincent Martin said he would like to see a full size GAA pitch provided.