Work has finally started on constructing a 3G pitch on an unused field by a Lancing school.
Staff at the Sir Robert Woodard Academy in Upper Boundstone Lane said the pitch will transform sports classes for students while also benefitting the whole community.
Work at the facility, which will also include a running track and a seating area, began last month.
Kieran Scanlon, headteacher, said: “It’s going really well.
“It’s really exciting.
“We haven’t had these types of facilities before.
“What you can offer is fantastic, you can play hockey and rugby.
“It will really put sports on the map at the school.”
The facilities will mainly be used by the academy and local primary schools, who will now be able to hold Sports Day events.
There will also be some hiring out of the pitch, but Mr Scanlon stressed that this would be done on a ‘reasonable’ basis in consultation with residents.
He said: “We wanted to be sure that all reasonable steps were taken and the impact on the local community was minimised.
“We’ve got good noise pollution plans in place and will be strict about when we turn the lights on.”
The planning application for the pitch faced several objections from neighbouring residents before it was granted permission by Adur District Council in September last year.
But Mr Scanlon said a meeting held with residents earlier this week had been ‘very positive’.
He said: “I will always listen to the local community.
“The school is here to serve the local community.
“My goal is for this to be something that benefits everybody in Lancing and Sompting.”
The £700,000 pitch was funded by a contribution from the Brighton and Hove Albion FC training ground deal.
Mr Scanlon said Brighton and Hove Albion had been very supportive and had agreed to send some premier league footballers to the opening, once the pitch is completed in February.