Delight at Durrington High as brand-new world-class sports facilities are open!

We are excited to announce that our fantastic new sports hall and courts are now complete and our students and the local community are able to benefit from these state-of-the-art facilities. Students have been enjoying using the sports hall since the end of November and are excited and in awe of the new addition to our school.

Last week students enjoyed playing badminton and netball, making use of the multi-use courts and brand-new equipment year 10 student Ivy Hite commented on the ‘bouncy floor’ and how it improved her game. Fellow year 10 student Harry Pelling, said, ‘this is a great addition to our school.’ And another, Amy Brand, added, ‘we can be really proud of it when other schools come to play us.’

Tom Pickford, Director of PE at Durrington High School, said, ‘The new sports hall is a superb facility for our students. They have all shown such delight when first entering the new space. This additional facility means, even on wet weather days during exam seasons, all of our students are able to take part in an active PE lesson in a specialised building, which is especially valuable for our GCSE PE students in year 10.’

The new sports hall has been over 10 years in the making, with careful financial planning and rigorous project management ensuring the fulfilment of this long-held dream for the school. Sue Marooney, Executive Headteacher and CEO of DMAT, said, ‘The new sports hall and courts are something I have long planned for and I am absolutely delighted with the finished results. These new world-class facilities mean we are providing our students with the very best, which is something I am passionate about in all areas of school life.’

The impressive sports hall is equipped for basketball, netball, badminton and cricket. These sports are enhanced through the high specification non-slip floor, dimmable LED lighting capable of producing 1000LUX, and an impressive internal viewing gallery.

The new facilities are a huge benefit to the school allowing us to maximise our availability for evening and weekend lettings year-round. Local clubs and groups benefit through high-quality facilities easily accessible to the community.

Local company Bright Spark Energy installed 410 solar panels on the roof of the sports hall, this helped the building achieve an EPC rating of -37. The solar panels make a significant contribution to the school’s overall energy costs. Matt Angell, Director of Operations and Facilities, said, ‘As a Trust we are fully committed to reducing our carbon footprint and this was paramount when planning for the sports hall. We made sure that the environmental impact was considered at every stage and the solar panelling was a key decision in meeting our aim that the new site would be carbon neutral.’

Alongside the marvellous indoor facilities are the newly resurfaced outdoor courts, these are floodlit for year-round all-day use. The courts have been designed for both tennis and netball, an outdoor handball court has also been incorporated allowing the sport to be taught on a full-size court for the first time at Durrington High School.

The school undertook a stringent and thorough tender process to select the construction contractors and appointed Lancashire-based construction firm Collinson Construction who designed and built the new sports complex. Robert Duxbury, managing director at Collinson Construction, said, ‘Whether you’re an elite performer, or just using sports to boost physical and mental wellbeing, your surroundings and the facilities available to you can make the difference. We are therefore very proud to have worked in partnership with Durrington High School to bring this state-of-the-art sports facility to life and hope it will inspire students and teachers alike to, in the words of the school, ‘go beyond their best.’

We are delighted that our students, and the local community, are now able to enjoy these new facilities. Given their impact and the fact that this is a significant development in the journey of Durrington High School, we have decided to hold the official opening in the Spring, when we very much hope we will be able to hold a ceremony befitting to these outstanding facilities.

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