Directline Structures is delighted to have been chosen to build a £2.2 million community and sports centre for the 2,400 residents of Alderney, the most northerly of the Channel Islands.
The Kent-based company has been constructing commercial steel frame buildings and sports halls for more than two decades and will use this expertise to design and build a 21,000 sq ft centre which will have a 25 metre swimming pool, multi-purpose sports hall, gymnasium, bowling alley, cafe, dance studio and changing facilities.
Islanders are delighted that their centre has come a giant step closer, says Richard Wilmott, Chairman of the Alderney Community and Sports Centre (ACSC) Charitable Trust.
He said that plans had been in the pipeline for more than eight years and community fundraising events and donations are helping to raise the money required to make their dreams a reality. The Trust anticipates that full funding will be in place by March 2012.
Mr Wilmot said: “Over the past year we have put in a huge amount of effort to identify and choose a specialist design and build partner to finalise a design and a fixed price for building it. We are delighted to appoint Directline Structures, which specialises in the delivery of low budget but high quality sports centres and public buildings.
“We have total confidence in their ability to deliver a much-needed facility which will play such an important part in improving the health and well being of the island’s residents. Directline Structures is a market leader in sustainable design and construction and has just been nominated for three awards for another very successful sports hall project in East Sussex.”
The centre will be built on a hillside overlooking the port in the main town of St Anne and Duncan Murray, Managing Director of Directline Structures, has already mapped out the logistics of delivering his firm’s first project away from the UK mainland.
“Whilst there is still a little more to be done on design and planning, the work on the centre will begin after the winter, in March 2012, and take a year to complete. We will work with local suppliers wherever possible, in addition to bringing in specialist staff when necessary.
“The steel frame superstructure will be made by Luxembourg specialist company Lindab, and the 100 tonnes of steel will be shipped in from Cherbourg”, he says.
The company has been designing and building sports centres, multi-purpose halls, sixth form blocks and classrooms for 23 years and this experience will help them to overcome challenging conditions on the Alderney site – including an adjacent Second World War German bunker, which is a protected monument.
Duncan said: “There is a seven metre rise from one corner of the site to the other, with slopes in several directions. The centre is designed to use the natural slopes as much as possible. It is a very big building but we have arranged it to minimise excavation and steep embankments and to cause least disturbance to the landscape.
“The centre will be built with a host of environmentally friendly features, such as an air source heating system which helps keep the building at a comfortable temperature. An air source heating pump extracts heat from the outside air in the same way that a fridge extracts heat from its inside. It can extract heat from the air even when the outside temperature is as low as freezing,” he added.