NEW SPORTS HALL, UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX
Project: 12 badminton court sports hall, with facilities for sports therapy, classrooms, social space and post grad study facilities & staff offices
Client: University of Essex
Services provided: Employer’s Agent, Quantity Surveying
Contract value: £8.9m
The University of Essex wanted to offer new sports and teaching facilities at their Wivenhoe Park, Campus. The 12 badminton court sports hall, including competition level basketball show court and retractable bleacher seating for up to 1800 spectators also provides a 3 storey ancillary area accommodating a fitness suite, changing rooms, flexible classroom spaces, toilets, offices, reception, plant room, sports therapy suite, kitchen, sports social space and bar. Complete with all services and external works.
Daniel Connal Partnership provided Employer’s Agent services at the pre-contract stage of the project along with Quantity Surveying services for the entire project. The main contractor was Kier Construction and the facility was designed by Clague Architects. The project was procured under a Design and Build Contract.
An initial challenge on the project was the relocation of the existing tennis courts which occupied part of the proposed site. This had take place before any work could commence on the new sports facility. The new tennis courts, which now benefit from an inflatable dome which allows all weather play, are located next to the new sports hall.
The year long project was completed in January 2018. With an architecturally pleasing design, including bespoke copper coloured cladding, the sports centre is designed to sit comfortably at the edge of the campus adjacent to parking facilities and sports fields.
The new sports hall was officially opened by Olympic Gold medalist Max Whitlock and Chancellor of the University and Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow.
Director of Sport at the University of Essex Dr Dave Parry said, “The Essex Sport Arena will be a significant regional and national sport competition and spectator venue as well as an important contributor to local and regional strategies linked to sport participation and physical activity initiatives.” It will also be the home of the newly formed academic School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences at the University.