St James Senior Boys School

St James is a 4 badminton court sized hall, with provision for Basketball, Futsal and Handball and in addition there is a multi-use games area (muga) which is in this case a 3G pitch

Cost: £2.5 m Location: Ashford, Surrey Opened: July 2021 Cost per sq metre:

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

Our clients had a very clear idea of what they wanted their new sports building to look like. One of our biggest challenges was to create our client’s vision for an interesting and distinctive building whilst making sure that it was still affordable, practical and functional. This hands on approach lead to some of the client’s choices changing during the construction period - which meant we had to manage these changes very carefully without causing delays to the programme.

Perhaps a more obvious and circumstantial challenge to this project was that we were working through Covid restrictions and lockdown - so our priority was to keep people safe and try to keep to the programme of works to meet the agreed handover.

This project was commercially funded which added another level of complexity as we worked alongside the bank’s monitoring surveyor

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

Regular zoom meetings were held with the client, the architect and the builder. We were in constant communication with the builder - so even when products had long lead times we were able to act quickly to make sure the client got what they wanted. We commissioned 3D models of spaces so the client could see and understand what they were asking for and how that would look in context. Before committing to materials we ordered samples ahead of schedule so that the client could check and sign off.

We put together a very clear schedule and highlighted key dates for when certain decisions had to be made by. We confirmed this with each party and we got everyone’s buy in and agreement to achieve those deadlines.

Working with Covid required us to express understanding and assist the builder wherever possible. For example, when a cladding team member tested positive for Covid, we discussed and agreed with the builder that the entire cladding team should self isolate. Our health and safety considerations needed to be at the forefront of the project during the pandemic and although this lead to a two week delay - we thought it was more likely to reduce the transmission to the rest of the site - which was our priority.

Copies of certifications were provided to the Bank’s Monitoring Surveyor and we invited him to all progress meetings. Having taken the time to build a transparent relationship with him, trust was in place and he was able, to see first hand that the project was in the care of a responsible, capable and experienced team.

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

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.

Our starting point for this project was to produce the best functional building for the users, but our flexible approach meant that we were able to adapt and deliver an iconic building within a limited budget while still maximising the use for the athletes.

Seating was not initially included but using our supply change links with regular specialists we were able to provide a fantastic solution that the client was very happy with.

At a relatively late stage, we also incorporated an audio visual installation. We took the client to one of our previous projects St John’s, Northwood, where they were able to see and listen to the exact system we were suggesting. They were prepared for exactly what they were getting and the result - a multi use space for prize giving and assemblies.

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“This has been a lovely project. Ball Hall have been very patient, professional and accommodating – excellent!”

CHRIS KING, BURSAR, ST JAMES SENIOR BOYS SCHOOL

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