Sporting Village construction 'on schedule'

18 months after work started on Basildon's new Sporting Village, Heart's been told it's still on schedule and on budget.

The centre will be the biggest sports facility in Essex.

It's due to open next April and it's hoped people from all over the county and the region will use it.

The project began in October 2009 with the piling and foundations completed in December.

By February 2010 steel erection had begun, with over 1100 tonnes and 5000 pieces of steelwork erected on site over 14 weeks with the help of 40,000 bolts and 15,500 shear studs.  The steel frame of the entire building was completed at the end of June thanks to around 12,000 man hours of work.

Excavation works to create the county’s first 50 metre pool started in March, with water testing on that and the learner pool taking place in June.  It took eight days to fill the main pool that will eventually be covered with 46,700 tiles.

Cladding of the south elevation of the building has started, and the installation of the roofing will start next week, with the aim of making the building water tight by September.

Cllr Kevin Blake, cabinet member for leisure and the arts says: “It seems like only yesterday that we had the launch of the project back in October.  The progress has been phenomenal, and remains on target and on budget.  I am excited to think that we are half way to completion.  The Sporting Village will transform leisure and sport in the county and region.”

Cllr Stephen Castle, Essex County Council cabinet member for education and the 2012 Games, says: “The building is really taking shape, with the majority of external works now completed.  To think we are halfway through the build programme is very exciting, as by April 2011, the best public sports facility will be open providing first class sporting facilities for the people of Basildon, Essex and the Eastern region.”

See our photo gallery below of the construction progress so far.