Kingshott School, Hitchin

Four badminton court sports hall with changing rooms and a dance studio, incorporating a theatre conversion with 400 retractable seating. Includes a sand based hockey pitch, new roads and car parks.

Cost: £2.2m – excluding road, pitch and VAT Location: Hitchin, Hertfordshire Opened: July 2018 Cost per sq metre: £1,524

Project Challenges

We have faced a variety of challenges throughout our time developing sports halls. Each project generally presents its own set of complications, sometimes relating to existing structures, surrounding areas or site conditions and in other cases, it’s purely about budget, keeping numerous funding partners happy, or meeting a deadline.

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Project Challenges

This was our first sports hall to accommodate a full theatre conversion, as opposed to our traditional seated assembly spaces with projectors.

There were also three significantly different parts to this project:

  • A multi function sports hall
  • A new road and car park
  • A new artificial hockey pitch

We needed to plan and oversee all phases in coordination, with the safety and smooth operation of the school as our paramount concern at all times. This was particularly essential as some of the children were pre school and primary school age.

Project Solution

Each unique set of circumstances, is thought about and considered, in depth, by Ball Hall at the outset of the project. We bring all of our previous experience and expertise to the fore and try where possible, to apply a combination of creative and pragmatic thinking to problem solve in each case.

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Project Solutions

At the outset we engaged a leading specialist in audio, visual and stage lighting for performing arts.

We held workshops with the school drama teachers to gain a full understanding of how they worked and what they expected. Together we put together a brief of what was required for the theatre and incorporated this into our build.

We developed a Health and Safety plan in conjunction with the school which highlighted the essential requirement that the 3 phrases and the 3 contractors had to work sequentially as opposed to being on site all at the same time.

Ball Hall Added Value

With all the difficulties of a project considered upfront and contingency built in for unforeseen events or conditions, Ball Hall deliver outstanding buildings for sport. A Ball Hall Sports Hall often exceeds expectation and consistently becomes a flag waving celebration for the organisation, with many further benefits that materialise over time.

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Ball Hall Added Value

Kingshott school now exhibits a sports hall, with generous storage space, that converts into a full theatre, with a proscenium arch and black curtain draping, that comes across the middle.

West End performers are now teaching musical drama classes and putting on shows at the school. A mezzanine containing a studio at the top of the hall, also means the children can learn theatre technology.

We specified a sand based pitch rather than a 3G, water based pitch, as this is more suitable to Hockey, but still allows football to be played

The level of transparency amongst all parties led to a very strong working relationship.  At a certain point in the development, the children were actually able to go and view the construction in progress, which exemplifies this confidence in the team.

"This is what Ball Hall do. This is their core business. It means that they are extremely knowledgeable about Sports Halls"

Julie Illott - Bursar, Kingshott School

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