The impressive new build Sports Hall for long-standing Baxall client New Beacon School has been delivered to meet a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating. This state-of-the-art building provides the school with a multi-use facility for sports, drama and social use, with foldaway theatre seating in the Sports Hall. The upstairs viewing gallery has been designed to accommodate indoor pursuits such as judo and fencing in addition to an entertainment area, serviced by a kitchen and canteen. Two IT centres and changing facilities, enabling access direct to the existing 3G pitch outside, complete the project which was successfully handed over to programme and revised budget.
The project team faced a number of challenges throughout the delivery which were overcome to counteract potential programme issues. Examples include the redeployment of excavation soil to create a new viewing bank for the all-weather 3G pitch (saving time, cost and carbon footprint for removal) and efficient planning to carry out disruptive works during holiday periods, limiting impact on the daily school functions.
As a BREEAM assessed project, sustainability was a key feature of the design, planning and build process. Working closely with the Project Ecologist from the outset, the whole team tailored the build solution to accommodate the BREEAM requirements introduced after planning permission was received. One major concern was the welfare of bats housing within the old Sports Hall building which required specialist trapping and removal to the nearby woods. The new Sports Hall subsequently has built in bat boxes for the their reinstatement in addition to cowls on the pitch floodlights to deflect light away from their sensitive habitat.
Working with the school, architect and Sport England, the new facility was designed and constructed to meet modern regulations and guidelines and accommodate a diversity of sport and leisure activities. The design of the ground floor changing rooms leading directly out to the 3G pitch, has enabled the client to outsource the facility to the public without interruption to the school.
Despite the various challenges to programme, the professional management of the project by the Senior Site Manager and project team meant that any delays were mitigated and the operational school relatively unaffected.
Promoting excellent levels of stakeholder engagement, site tours were hosted for pupils, staff and parents as the project developed and engagement initiatives promoted including hoarding design and model competitions. The project scored Performance Beyond Compliance on the Considerate Constructors Scheme reflecting the commitment of the team to quality, safety and exceptional levels of client satisfaction.