The majority of the Independent schools across the UK fully understand the importance of providing world class sporting facilities, as they are a major attraction for prospective pupils and parents. As such, schools across the country are completing or embarking on major additions to their sporting infrastructure – often with immediate and striking benefits. It’s a policy that’s reaping benefits in pupil fitness and cognitive development when it concerns studying and exams. The adage of a fit body equals a fit mind cannot be ignored and a sentiment wholly embraced by an independent co-educational day and boarding school in The Cotswolds.
Kingham Hill School near the idyllic Cotswold village of Kingham was originally built by the Christian philanthropist Charles Edward Baring Young in 1886. Today, with just over 340 pupils, it caters for both girls and boys aged 11-18. There is a five-day teaching week and once lessons have finished, there is time for sport and activities every afternoon.
When it was decided to replace and re-develop the main sports hall at Kingham Hill, the aspects of quality, performance, looks and durability would be pivotal in the final flooring specification. The school turned to international flooring specialist Gerflor to supply 770m2 of its world renowned Taraflex® Performance vinyl sports flooring in Blue and Pink to provide the high performing, multi-use solution it was seeking.
Catriona Thompson, Bursar at Kingham Hill School commented, “As part of the School’s development strategy the Governing body decided that the sports hall built by our founder was no longer fit for purpose.”
She continued, “The building of a new sports centre began with the main hall within the new sports centre being one of the main focal points of the building. The floor needed to meet the needs of a range of activities including cricket, netball and football, gymnastics, badminton, fencing and social events. After researching the benefits and constraints on many products, Gerflor’s Taraflex® Performance flooring best met the criteria with the added benefit that it would bring colour and life to the space.”
The overall responsibility and flooring specification fell to the Swindon HQ of Beard Construction who would in turn appoint a high quality flooring installer. Simon Gannon, Site Manager for Beard Construction commented, “Beard has carried out several previous prestigious projects for the school and have had a long-standing good relationship.” On matching up to the specification requirements Gannon added, “The Gerflor vinyl sports flooring is perfect for the school’s requirements. It’s a well-layered floor with great flexibility and strength and feels firm underfoot with enough give for sports activities.”
He concluded, “The Gerflor Taraflex Performance sports flooring is an outstanding high quality product and we would certainly specify it again if given the opportunity.”
The eventual look of the Kingham Hill School was also to play a vital role in providing the best sports environment possible. Catriona Thompson went on to say, “With limited natural light within the hall, we were keen not to have a traditional single coloured floor, but to complement the neutral colours used in the rest of the building with a vibrant, statement floor in pink and blue. The flooring also enabled us to countersink the fixing points for badminton, netball and volleyball posts removing trip hazards and keeping a sleek look to the space.”
Catriona ended by saying, “The Taraflex® flooring has so far proved to meet all of our expectations, performing well in every guise, whether during a sporting event or children’s party. We would definitely look to Gerflor for any of our future flooring needs.”
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