The contract for the first phase of the new GAA grounds in Strokestown was signed at a function in the Percy French Hotel on Thursday night. The function was attended by County Board officials, local councillors, representatives of local schools, community games, members and players of the club and the contractors. Martin Shiel (chairman) in welcoming everyone thanked the people who bought shares, those who entered the 300 Club and all who had contributed financially to getting the project to this stage. He thanked the officers of the County Board and especially Frank Kenny, grounds representative for their support, advice and assistance. He announced that he had just received news that the project had received €120,000 lotto grant. He said that over the next three years it was planned to put in place two pitches, dressing rooms and a stand. In his address Michael Maguire, County Board Chairman welcomed the progress made in such a short time and said he was delighted that the facilities in Strokestown were being upgraded. He paid tribute to the efforts of the club and said that he and the County Board were available to assist and support the project in whatever way they could. Joe Prunty of Prunty Pitches Ltd. who won the contract said his company were delighted to be chosen and was committed to carrying out the contract to the highest standards and would be available to the club on a long-term basis to ensure the grounds were a credit to the club. The club hope to have the project completed in the next three years and will be announcing new fundraising initiatives in the near future.