Olympic gold medalist Katherine Copeland MBE is hoping to help other young Teessiders achieve sporting legacy as she opens Yarm School's new rowing and hockey facility constructed by CLS Sports
One of CLS Sports biggest projects to date, it includes the construction of a full sized, floodlit, artificial hockey pitch, a modern boathouse and a refurbishment to the existing car park. CLS Sports who specialise in the design, construction and maintenance of natural and artificial sports facilities throughout the UK were appointed this job due to their wealth of experience and expertise in the sports construction industry and their previous success on several other projects at Yarm School.
Opening the new facilities, Kat said: "I hope it inspires the students as it does me. It makes me want to go and row right now. This is a great opportunity for people. It is now just up to them to use it and make the most of it."
The futuristic cedar clad boathouse has been constructed with a large cantilever structure which overhangs the River Tees. On the river facing side of the building the Juliette balcony provides an excellent view point for spectators to view rowing on the river and on the other side a larger viewing platform allows spectators to view sports on the hockey pitch. The boat house also provides a top of the range training facility, changing rooms and office.
Adjacent to the boathouse is the full-sized, floodlit, synthetic hockey pitch with the facility to accommodate 12 tennis courts in the summer months. The pitch construction required deep excavation and the use of a 10m interlinking sheet pile wall on 3 sides of the facility to achieve the specified levels. The pitch construction then consisted of several important layers; the earthworks and formation, a pozi-drain system, a reduced fines sub base, a grit layer, a macadam engineered base, a shockpad and finally the Domo Hockey Xtreme 18mm sand dressed carpet. By using the CLS Laser Grader and CLS Selfdrive plant and machinery the team were able to achieve the required tolerances for the sub base and grit layers to very accurate precision.
As part of the project the CLS Landscape and Earthworks team were also on hand to help with a significant amount of hard and soft landscaping. This involved tree removal, drainage and earthworks, the construction of resin bonded parking bays, planting and turfing around the entrance and car park area of the school.
Due to the nature of the project with regard to planning permission and environmental constraints, a flexible and collaborative approach was essential for success. As the pitch extended onto the River Tees flood plain special consideration had to be taken in order to overcome this planning restriction by incorporating a 480m3 attenuation tank. The floodlighting was also fully bespoke due to the close proximity of neighbouring properties and the varying external ground levels.
'CLS have done a marvellous job, we thank them very much indeed' David Dunn, Headmaster of Yarm School. Stephen Miller, Contract Manager at CLS wishes them great success with their new facilities.
To view the new facilities, take a look at the video here.