The King’s School in Chester is investing heavily in sport, having recently announced the investment of £4.5m for their new state-of-the-art sports centre. The project is planned to begin this summer and be completed for autumn 2018. An innovative design by Associated Architects has allowed King’s to retain the existing sports hall and build additional indoor space in a wraparound extension, managing to maximise internal and external use in an economical and environmentally friendly way.
Sport is an important part of the wider education offered at the school, with a huge range of sports already on offer for girls and boys. King’s routinely plays in the region of 1,000 fixtures per year in competitive sports but also has a developing range of sports designed to increase participation and fitness for all. The new facility will allow King’s to continue to support the pupils who play sport at an elite level, developing their ability and further expanding their training provision, to help them reach ‘the next level’. It will also allow greater scope for those who simply play sport for enjoyment and general fitness. As a school, King’s has never viewed there being a dichotomy between elite and ‘sport for all’ and this centre will allow even greater scope for King’s to support all of its students.
Importantly, they currently share their sports facilities with 60 local community organisations and sports clubs and the new sports centre, with its extra facilities, will enable them to offer even more to these groups and the local community. The new King’s sports centre will house a multi-purpose studio for classes such as Pilates, yoga, gymnastics and aerobics, a fitness gym suite with a dedicated area for ergo/rowing machines and other facilities including a classroom. Existing facilities within the retained sports hall will also be upgraded to provide a great environment for indoor sports.
There will also be a much sought-after new deli café, where visitors will be able to enjoy refreshments and watch matches in comfort from the outdoor viewing terrace. New changing rooms are also to be built and a new spacious reception area will lead through to the swimming pool, changing rooms and sports hall. The centre will also be the new home for the King’s Combined Cadet Force and will be complemented with a sports quad with a seating and landscaped area.
“Sport has always been an integral part of the education at King’s and the new sports centre will offer our pupils the very best facilities to encourage them to participate in sport and develop a healthy, active lifestyle,” said Richard Lunn, Director of Sport. “This new facility will allow the full spectrum of performers, from King’s pupils who participate at the very highest level to those who simply enjoy sport for fun, to develop their technical skills and fitness level. It will also give us the opportunity to offer a wider range of creative and aesthetic activities. Our vision for sport at King’s has always been to see students leave King’s with at least one sport which they love that they will continue to pursue throughout their lives. This wonderful new centre will help all our pupils realise their potential across an even wider range of activities.”
All in all, this is a truly positive and inspirational step forward for sport, not only for The King’s School but for all of the local community. The centre will provide the most amazing facilities with access for everyone in the area, a true sports hub for Cheshire.