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Leisure Management - An active campus

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An active campus

A look at how University of Warwick is building a community focused on health

The investment in the hub is part of plans to establish Warwick as a world-leading university
The building features a high level of smart technology to make it sustainable

Since its completion, the multi-million-pound Sports and Wellness Hub at University of Warwick has played a pivotal role in supporting the university’s ambition of becoming the “most physically active campus community in the UK by 2020”, having replaced all former on-campus health and fitness facilities.

From a commercial perspective the new hub is already delivering for the university, increasing its number of local community members from 175 to 1,500. The newly completed hub has also more than doubled the number of visitors from 13,000 to 27,000.

Delivered by contractor Willmott Dixon, the £37m project was managed by the same team behind the university’s Oculus Building in 2016.

Facilities at the 16,684sq ft hub include a 25-metre, 12-lane swimming pool and a 17m-high climbing wall.

The property features smart building technology throughout, with coolant technology and dynamic lighting automatically adjusting in certain rooms at specific times of the day to create the optimal ambience.

“The sports and wellness hub was a hugely exciting and unique project to work on," said the project’s construction manager, Nick Preedy.

"The design of the building and the level of smart technology that has been implemented throughout is outstanding.

"We were focussed on delivering the project to the highest quality, and this is something that carried on all the way through alongside our design and supply chain partners."

The facility opened ahead of the Europe Corporate Games and was built to tie in with Coventry’s tenure as the 2019 European City of Sport – meaning the new building’s purpose always considered the wider community and how it could enhance sporting both regionally and nationally.

Lisa Dodd-Mayne, director of Sport and Active Communities at the university said the aim of the hub was to help people engage in sport, through creating positive experiences.

"We wanted the sports hub to be more than a building and have a real impact on the lives of individuals," Dodd-Mayne says. “As we started the journey to create the hub, we agreed four core objectives: that the building would offer the best customer experience, include participation in its design, help to build a community and finally that upon its completion, the hub would sustainably contribute back to the university.”

Overall, the university's investment in the sports hub underpins the institution's vision to become a world-leading university.

“I always see an incredible reaction when people come into the building for the first time, as it is so striking and modern – I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved," Dodd-Mayne adds.

The completed project has won a number of awards including the ‘Award for Excellence’ at the annual SAPCA Awards, Secured a Design Gold Standard and a BREEAM score of Excellent.

Originally published in Sports Management 2020 issue 3
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06 Apr 2020 issue 153

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