A new Astro Turf pitch will be in place on Whiteknights campus for the start of the 2014/2015 academic year.
The announcement has been met with widespread approval with many of those connected to sport at the University of Reading. Among the delighted parties is Josh Cave, the RUSU Student Engagement Officer. He said: “The new STP is a long awaited win for many of our sports teams. It is also great to see the University and the Student Union continuing to work in partnership. This is a good step forward for the Universities Sporting commitments and is a good sign of things to come with the Whiteknights Pavilion project underway.
“I extend my thanks and gratitude to Nick Cook VP Student Activities last year for his initial work on getting the STP resurfaced – along with the support of our three Hockey Clubs and our many other sports teams.”
The annoucement was also welcomed by Director of Sport, Iain Akhurst: “The SportsPark is really delighted that we can look forward to providing a first class astro turf for all our student sports clubs. The University is very proud of the achievements of all our clubs and I’m sure everyone will enjoy our hockey teams playing their matches next season on campus again.”
Iain Akhurst was also recorded as praising the student pressure and support for the new project, noting that it really does pay-off.
In addition to the new Astro Turf pitch, plans are also underway for a new sports pavilion for Whiteknights campus. The proposal is to replace the current Athletics pavilion with a more modern facility. The current pavilion was built in 1938.
The new building would meet ‘Sport England’ criteria, and would include changing rooms, toilet facilities, showers and a club room among its many features. The new pavilion will have a photovoltaic renewable energy source on the roof to generate electricity for use in the building and will save over £1000 per year in energy cost.
The current pavilion will remain in use during the proposed construction of the new facility in order to minimise disruption to the University’s sports teams.
The site of the existing Athletics Pavilion will be reinstated as a grassed area, providing an extension to the current cricket pitch’s boundary.
An exhibition was held in the middle of January for students, staff and members of the local community, and feedback is being welcomed before proposals are finalised and sent to the council.
The proposed ‘SportsPark Pavilion’ will be a single storey construction and situated within the natural setting with soft landscaping and tree planting.
The project has several sustainability benefits and will be highly insulated & airtight, and incorporate features such as LED lighting, low water use appliances and fast response heating systems.
If planning consent is given, the University would aim to start construction work for the pavilion in June 2014.