Earlier this year, the University of Warwick was seeking permission for expansion which would take place over four years, and would cost a total of £400 million. The expansion would consist of nine new developments, including: an £80 million Faculty of Arts building, a new £57 million Cryfield Student Village with accommodation, renovations on the Arts Centre, a new car park and a new sports and wellness hub.
The new sports and wellness hub is set to open in early 2019 and will cost £49 million. It will be built off Leighfield Road near Sherbourne by Willmott Dixon, one of the UK’s biggest construction companies. Peter Owen, managing director at Willmott Dixon in the Midlands says: “When it is completed next year, this facility will provide students, staff and the local community with world-class sporting and leisure facilities that the region so desperately needs.”
The 16,684 square ft area will be one of the largest gyms in UK higher education.
It will have a 12 court sports hall, as well as a four court sports hall, a 12 lane 25-metre swimming pool with a movable floor. It will have climbing walls, as well as bouldering and speed climbing walls, something Lisa Dodd-Mayne, the University’s director of sport & active communities, is “particularly proud of”, as it is one of only a few in the UK to have such facilities.
Furthermore, the wellness centre will have a large 250 station gym with strength, cardio and functional training equipment, studio spaces, and elite standard squash and netball courts.
Additionally, there will be treatment rooms for physiotherapy and sports massage and a café with woodland views.
Outside, there will be sports pitches, including five five-a-side football pitches, rugby pitches and hockey pitches.
The wellness hub could also help the University tackle concerns regarding mental health, which recent research has highlighted. Registrar Rachel Sandby-Thomas said: “We all know that being healthy makes us learn better, be more resilient and productive, plus happier! So it’s great to see the new Sport and Wellness Hub going up. It will act as a testament to the University’s commitment to this.”
The University’s aim is to “ensure that we have the most active community in the UK”, says Dodd-Mayne. She added: “The building is at the stage now where you can truly appreciate its scale and quality.”