Less than a year after purchasing three TYM tractors, Oundle School, one of the UK's leading independent Schools, has invested in two more as it aims to create the finest sports facilities of any independent school in the UK.
Head of grounds and gardens at Oundle School, near Peterborough, Nick Tebbs says: "Our existing TYM 50hp and 35hp tractors have proved to be popular with our operatives; head gardener Mark Bird and head groundsman Stuart Palmer. That, coupled with the fact that, after like-for-like comparisons and evaluations against other brands, no other supplier came close to matching the TYM specification, so we have purchased two more TYM tractors."
The School has opted for two T503 tractors as it approaches the second phase of its Sports MasterPlan. Stage one included a new cricket pavilion and the drainage and levelling of the School's pitches and now the School has been granted planning permission for a new multi-purpose sports centre as well as an athletics track, eight tennis courts, AstroTurfs and six netball courts. Work will commence this autumn, with completion expected by the end of 2019.
Nick says: "This investment is part of the School's broader Sports MasterPlan, all complementing the award-winning cricket pavilion which opened in 2015. The large-scale development includes significant landscaping and aesthetic considerations while maintaining the visual appeal of the campus and all the different sports pitches. Our aim is to have the finest sports facilities of any independent school."
The team masterminding the development and management of the new facilities includes Amy Scott as project manager and Danny Grewcock as the School's director of sport. Amy will draw on her experience working on the London Borough of Brent Primary School Expansion Project, as well as redevelopment projects for Battersea Power Station and Universities of East Anglia and Hertfordshire to ensure the project is completed on time, within budget and to client satisfaction.
Danny, MBE, joined the School last year from Bath Rugby Academy and is highly regarded for his leadership nurturing young players and the importance he places on their wider education and development. Having achieved 69 England caps as part of a distinguished career in professional rugby this will come as no surprise!
The expectations placed on the performance of the School's machinery fleet will be extremely high, says Nick. However with TYM having already demonstrated itself to Nick and the team with its: "proven reliability, power-to-weight ratio, first class operator platform with cab air conditioning, great visibility, an ergonomic design that provides excellent working conditions, plus compliance with hand/arm vibration and noise at work regulation," means it is unlikely to be a problem.
There will also be back up from Stewart Jeffs from Reesink Turfcare, the UK distributor of TYM and his colleagues, who Nick says: "have already demonstrated their support and worked hard to meet our expectations." In addition to this there is onsite maintenance support as Nick explains: "The TYMs provide easy access for routine maintenance, but should we need it we are fortunate to have the skills of our own groundsman and mechanic, Sam Wyles. We will also take advantage of Reesink's training programme and Sam is enrolled on a workshop management course."
Given the size and capacity of the campus, the team will also be supported by selected Service Level Agreements for cleaning and maintenance of the athletics track, hard courts and Astros as well as floodlighting.
There's a phrase: a plan is only as good as the people who see it through. Not only does Oundle School have an ambitious Sports MasterPlan it also has the expertise and experience of an extensive team - and five very capable TYM tractors! - to see it through.