Designs for the 1347m2 extension will accommodate a variety of full size courts including a Basketball court and eight Badminton courts, encouraging more people to engage in sports activities, both within the University and the local community.
Tim Casselden of JM Architects, the appointed architect behind the plans, said: “Building on Lancaster University’s national reputation as a leading sports provider, the Sports Hall extension introduces a new, high calibre sporting venue within a bold and distinctive design. The development complements the existing Sports Centre, combining an increase in flexible sports provision with the opportunity to experience the exhilaration of a sports arena atmosphere.”
The new Sports Hall will be completed in time to host the opening fixtures of the 2020 Roses sporting event, providing retractable seating with the capacity to seat more than five hundred people. Staff from the Sports Centre are working with the project team to ensure that the existing facilities remain open during the build.
Kim Montgomery, Head of Sport at Lancaster University said: “These spaces will enable us to increase our recreational sports offering and the availability of our facilities to competitive teams, whilst also offering a facility of national significance capable of staging major sporting events.”
Local Preston-based company Conlon Construction Ltd have been appointed by Lancaster University to undertake the construction of the building. Conlon have more than 50 years experience in working on large-scale, multi-million pound projects including the creation of the M6 motorway in the 1960’s.
Darren Lee, Commercial Director at Conlon Construction Ltd said: “We are absolutely delighted to be involved in this project. We will be generating a number of local employment opportunities and will be inviting local pupils and University students to visit site and witness the progress. Hopefully our collaborative approach will inspire the next generation of construction professionals.”
From left to right: Martin Ennis (Engagement Manager, Students’ Union) David Griffiths (Project Manager, Facilities), Kim Montgomery (Head of Sport, Facilities), Tim Casselden (JM Architects), Vicki Matthews Development Manager, Facilities), Andrew Burgess (Director of Estates, Facilities & Commercial Services), Darren Lee (Commercial Director, Conlon Construction Ltd), Prof. Mark E. Smith (Vice-Chancellor, Lancaster University), Prof. Amanda Chetwynd (Provost, Lancaster University), Toby Wilkinson(Vice-President Activities, Students’ Union).
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Mark E. Smith and key members from the University joined the project team earlier this week to participate in a ceremonial tree planting to mark the start of the project. The first stage of construction will be to prepare the site. This includes the removal of around 100 trees to create space to build the extension. A scheme has been developed to mitigate the loss of the trees that commits to planting more than 800 broadleaf native species nearby.
Prof. Smith said: “As a University we are extremely committed to environmental management, the planting of 830 new trees is part of the University’s ambitious Woodland Management Plan.”
Removal of the trees is scheduled to take place from week commencing 24th June 2019, with construction of the new facility commencing in July, continuing through to spring 2020.