Another milestone in the construction of Prior Park College’s new sports centre in Bath was marked by a traditional ‘topping-out’ ceremony carried out by local rugby legend Lewis Moody and Commonwealth Games pentathlon bronze medallist Kate Allenby. Watched by staff, students and members of Swindon-based construction company Beard, Lewis went up in a scissor lift to sign off the final piece of cladding structure at the highest point of the 1,800 sqm building before its zinc covering. The former English Rugby Union player has been following the progress of the new state-of-the-art sports centre since construction started in February last year.
The £4.5 million design-and-build project – due to be completed by Beard in time for the beginning of the summer term this year – will include a spectators’ viewing gallery and balcony overlooking the college’s first XI cricket pitch, a fitness suite, changing rooms, additional classrooms and a function suite.
The topping-out ceremony marks the project moving into its final phase of construction, with the envelope works nearing completion and the construction team now working on the interior.
“We’re delighted to see the sports centre reach this important construction milestone. Our Beard project team has really enjoyed working on this superb facility and we are thrilled with how the building is taking shape,” says Beard contracts manager Mark Buckley. “It’s been wonderful to see so many people at the topping-out ceremony showing such enthusiasm and support for the new building which is going to be a huge asset for Prior Park students and staff.”
Prior Park headmaster James Murphy-O’Connor adds: “The building of our sports centre contributes to the momentum of a wide-ranging building programme at Prior that includes a new art and design centre and sixth-form centre. Sport is a much valued part of our all-round curriculum and the centre will augment the excellence of our academic PE teaching programme, the conditioning of our athletes and the competitive nature of our sports fixtures.”
Lewis Moody comments: ‘I am amazed at the momentum at Prior, with the sports centre one of the obvious signs. This is a facility for all children – for elite performers and for those who join in sport for the participation, fitness and team-building benefits. Sports meant so much to me when I was young and I am delighted to see this wonderful building taking shape and promising so much.’