Loughborough College will soon house one of the most innovative sports performance centres in the UK.
A £3 million project has seen the redevelopment of the Gables to create The Elite Athlete Performance Centre (EAPC), along with the construction of a 72-bed hall of residence named White Flats.
The concept has been developed by Loughborough College and will provide facilities for elite athletes between 16 and 18. As the first facility of its kind in the UK, the EAPC will give the College the opportunity to work on an individual basis with gifted youngsters in order to develop their sporting prowess and provide them with a solid grounding for their future ambitions.
Jim Mutton, Principal of Loughborough College, said:
“The Elite Athlete Performance Centre has been specifically developed to address the gap in professional and tailored support for some of our most talented young athletes.
“It seemed fitting that the pioneering project should be housed in a building which appeared at around the same time as the modern Olympics (1896). The building had been allowed to get very run down so planners – and local residents – were more than happy to support the development.
“I am proud to know that Loughborough College is blazing a trail for young elite athletes in the UK, which could mean we see even better results for individuals and teams in the Olympics and beyond. The Elite Athlete Performance Centre at Loughborough College will offer the opportunity to deliver more world class performers, who will also have had a superb education.”
Along with the transformation of the listed 19th century Gables building, the project has seen the creation of 72 new bedrooms at a state-of-the-art accommodation block.
The new three-storey, timber-framed White Flats development covers approximately 5,500 sq ft and features an attractive external facade that has incorporated brick, render and timber. Further features include a pitched roof with a zinc finish, and aluminium double glazed windows.
All of the rooms are en-suite, whilst four of the bedrooms have been specifically designed for disabled students. The rooms are arranged in twelve clusters of six, and each of the clusters boasts a spacious kitchen and all of the required security and fire protection features.
Additional works have included the demolition of two existing buildings on the site, along with the diversion of four HV cables, three LV cables and the gas mains. Car parking facilities will be provided for up to ten vehicles, whilst a new access route will be formed to existing car parking facilities for disabled drivers.
Main contractor for the project is ISG and the architect is Marcini Curran Associates.
Jonathan Kell, Midlands Managing Director for ISG, said:
“Access to the site is tight, with a number of TPOs in place which require that tree root protection is undertaken for approximately 20 trees. We are also protecting a commemorative tree that was grown for a young student who sadly died last year.
“We are also working alongside student accommodation that is currently occupied, so we have established Considerate Constructor protocols in order to minimise any potential disruptions during the works.
“Creating the new EAPC building from the existing Gables building has been a great challenge. As with any historic buildings, we have had to deal with what lies beneath the surface – and there have been some really fascinating discoveries along the way.
“We have uncovered some beautiful fireplaces, whilst the quality of the new carpentry work that has gone into replacing damaged sections and creating new elements is equally impressive.”