Groundbreaking ceremony marks start of work on one of the UK's greenest sports facilities at the University of Portsmouth.
The University and Wates Construction have formally marked the start of construction of the new sports facility in Ravelin Park, with a groundbreaking ceremony.
When complete, the building will include an eight-court sports hall, eight lane 25m swimming pool, 175 station fitness suite, multipurpose studios, squash courts, climbing wall and a ski simulator. It will also host teaching facilities, office space and an underground car park for visitors.
Designed to be one of the UK's greenest sports facilities, the building aims to create new standards for sustainability and energy efficiency. The design has already received recognition from BREEAM UK, the world's leading sustainability assessment for buildings. It could become the UK's first sports centre with a swimming pool to be rated 'Outstanding' by BREEAM.
The facilities are expected to be open in Spring 2021, and will be accessible to students, staff and the community.
Alec Jackman, Business Unit Director of Wates Construction Southern Home Counties, commented: "This event signifies an exciting point in the project's life as we formally mark building work commencing and the efforts of our dedicated site team delivering what will be an impressive, state-of-the-art leisure facility. This is an aspirational project for the university boasting ambitious environmental credentials and we're thrilled to have been charged with its development."
The project will also involve wider improvements to Ravelin Park, including an entrance plaza between the sports building and the University Library, new pedestrian routes, an urban orchard, increasing the number of trees in the park and opening up views to the historic buildings on Museum Road.
The University's Estate Masterplan will see over £400 million invested in the campus over the next 10 years.