A new state-of-the-art sports complex at Stoke-on-Trent College is now taking shape.
College Principal Sarah Robinson joined with students and the construction team on site at the Cauldon Campus on College Road to mark the start of the works which signify a £4m investment in the site.
The new complex will see the construction of a state-of-the-art indoor sports hall, fitness suite and aerobics facilities which will replace the College’s existing sports building. The work is expected to be completed by September 2013.
College Principal Sarah Robinson said: “When these fantastic new facilities are completed both our students and members of the public will benefit, as we will be able to offer a far wider range of sports and outdoor education programmes in a modern environment.
“Working in partnership with Stoke-on-Trent City Council, we will also be taking an active role in the management of outdoor sports facilities in Hanley Park which will benefit our students and the local community.”
The building replaces an existing Council depot site in College Road opposite Hanley Park, and forms part of a major £6m plan by the college to improve and enhance both its campuses at Cauldon and Burslem.
Overall the developments will enhance the City’s University Quarter (UniQ) offer which covers the whole of the area from the new Sixth Form College through the existing University buildings to Stoke on Trent College and on into the city centre, taking in both Cauldon and Hanley Parks.
Anthony Brannen, Assistant Director for Sport, Leisure and Public Services, said: “At the new sports centre we will be able to offer a wider range of courses and more specific performance, recreational and coaching based provision in a range of sports such as cricket, netball and volleyball in addition to elite level competition.
“The new complex will mean we will be able to have all our sports facilities in the one place, as well as additional facilities including a dance studio and a fitness testing area.
“The location is also ideal. It fits in really nicely with the park and will be far more visible to the public and hopefully encourage more community use.”
Wesley Allmark, Construction Director at Aspect Construction, said the former council depot on the site had been completely demolished and materials from that would be crushed and recycled to use in the new build foundations.
He added: “The site has now been levelled ready for construction to begin and people should be able to see the main part of the building in place by August. We are also pleased to be working closely with the college to fully involve learners throughout the construction process.”