This follows the merger of Stockton Riverside College and Bede Sixth Form College, Billingham. The world-class facilities planned for Billingham will benefit students and staff alike, and the introduction of a sports centre will broaden the curriculum offering even further.
When completed the new college on the existing Bede College site will offer students state-of-the-art facilities including media suites, a specialist recording pod, music rooms, dedicated science laboratories, art room, an improved Learning Resource Centre, café, along with social spaces and a quiet room. The new college building will extend the options, choice and flexibility in learning for the communities of Stockton and Billingham.
The facilities are being built by construction company Morgan Ashurst, which has a local office in Belmont Business Park, Durham. “It is exciting to see this state-of-the-art, eco-friendly College building at Bede taking shape,” says David Smailes, Morgan Ashurst area director in Durham. “The main structure is completed and we are now installing mechanical and electrical systems and carrying out finishing works. We are also starting to install the climbing wall in the sports hall and preparing external works and car parking. Our expertise in the education sector and experience of using new ‘green’ technology is helping us to provide exceptional facilities for staff and students.”
As part of Stockton Riverside College’s investment, the Billingham campus will house a £6M Sports Centre. The new sports development will provide a four court sports hall that will accommodate basketball, badminton, cricket and a whole range of other indoor sporting activities. A fitness suite providing a range of modern equipment will further enhance the facilities available to learners. The sports hall will also include a high specification indoor climbing wall with ‘cave’ features which will be installed along one wall. Externally there will be the latest generation flood-lit multi-purpose Desso Ambition all-weather pitch, which is an eco-friendly hybrid and one of the first of its kind in the country, as well as two further grass pitches. The main contractor Morgan Ashurst has appointed Cleveland Land Services (CLS) to be responsible for the first UK installation of the latest generation ‘Desso Ambition’ Synthetic Turf football pitch alongside several natural turf pitches and all the necessary fencing.
Work has already started on the installation of the Desso pitch. Cleveland Land Services have significant experience in constructing sports facilities throughout the UK, using natural and synthetic materials. Desso Ambition is a football system utilising the Desso Challenge Pro² yarn, which is understood to be the most durable monofilament fibres in the artificial turf market.
Instead of using rubber as an infill, the system uses “Envirofill” a recyclable, ecologically-responsible product with superb playing characteristics. The physical properties of the material mean that there is no rubber splash, rubber odour or infill compaction, which can occur on more traditional 3G rubber filled pitches.
The tender for the Bede Sixth Form College project was won on a combination of price, experience and reputation. CLS operates a diverse range of construction, horticulture and specialist plant and equipment and have an excellent committed and motivated work force, with constantly expanding skills due to rigorous on-going training programmes. Although the Desso Ambition is new to the UK, CLS were completely confident about installing this advanced playing field. “Following an extended visit to an installation in Holland last year to look at how the Desso Ambition sports grounds have been accepted in Europe, we were delighted to be given an opportunity to create a ‘state of the art’ synthetic pitch in the UK.” Said CLS Managing Director John Miller.
Ron Booth is a member of the Management team employed by Bede College and a former Sports Facility Advisor. Ron consulted closely with all those involved on the choice of play surface. “The College is at the forefront of education and design and actively seeks out innovative schemes which are proven to be beneficial at many different levels. We chose the Desso Ambition System alongside traditional pitches for many reasons all of which made it a sound investment. It has been shown to be way ahead of other comparable surfaces in terms of extended use, being impervious to weather conditions. The playing capabilities lend themselves to level two football and a higher level than standard of hockey.” “Another major factor,” continued Ron “is that the maintenance regime is similar to other synthetic surfaces but the longevity of the carpet is anticipated to be much longer. In fact the lifespan of the shockpad is expected to be as much as twice that of a traditional synthetic pitch. It is also eco-friendly, which means once the system is finally removed it can be easily recycled.
“The Bede College project is a new build” said John Miller “It is particularly interesting and rewarding to be involved right from the start and to be part of something which will benefit generations of youngsters to come.”
For further information please contact:
Project Manager Andrew Earnshaw
Cleveland Land Services (Guisborough) Ltd
Tel: 01642 488328