It is now almost seven years since Craigavon Borough Council, Lismore Comprehensive School (Catholic maintained), Brownlow High School, now Brownlow College (Integrated), Brownlow Limited (a local economic and social regeneration company) and Brownlow Community Trust decided to co-operate and secure the provision of outdoor playing fields to meet the needs of the schools and the wider community and complete the construction of the Brownlow Campus providing educational, cultural and recreational facilities in Brownlow, Craigavon.
The Brownlow Campus was partially finished in 1973 when Local Government was reorganised and the Craigavon Development commission gave way to Craigavon Borough Council. In 1974 a leisure centre was opened to complement the two schools, youth centre and library, but the outdoor sports provision was arrested and there has been no new provision since.
Today Lismore School has a population of 1200 and still has only one small outdoor grass pitch. But all that is set to change. In the Autumn of 1997 there will be a brand new sand filled and floodlit synthetic pitch and two new grass pitches all big enough to take a full range of sports including Gaelic games.
A new community company is being formed to manage the use of the pitches and to pursue community relations objectives through the structuring of the company and the programmes accomodated on the pitches. The facilities, on a day to day basis will be operated through the Craigavon Leisure Centre and the schools.
After 23 years of campaigning, with many disappointments along the way, the needs of the schools and the community are being met as a result of partnership and pulling together and commitment to our shared future.
The project is being supported by the European Community PSEP programme administered by CCRU, DENI, through the Catholic Council for Maintained Schools and the Southern
Education and Library Board and by Craigavon Borough Council. The project budget is £660,000.
At present, August 1997, work in all three pitches is well advanced.
Consulting Civil and Structural engineers Dr I G Doran and Partners
are confident that the project will be completed on schedule and