Huge new sports building in Cambridge starts to take shape

The Stephen Perse Foundation's new building will include the city's first rooftop pitch and a multi-purpose sports hall in the basement.

Pupils at a Cambridge school have helped mark a key milestone in the construction of a five-storey sports building.

The Stephen Perse Foundation, a group of six independent schools in Cambridge and Saffron Walden, is building a new facility at the Stephen Perse Senior School in Union Lane, Cambridge.

Staff, pupils and architects gathered to mark the 'topping out' of the building at a ceremony yesterday (May 16).

Six children signed a piece of timber before it was hoisted into place at the building's highest point.

The new sports space is designed by architects Chadwick Dryer Clarke and will include astro turf on its roof and a huge sports hall in the basement.

The schools said it will also feature eight 'dynamic spaces designed to encourage creativity, collaboration and engagement in learning'.

The completed building will also be accessible to local state schools and sports and community groups.

Tricia Kelleher, principal of the Stephen Perse Foundation, said: "The ‘topping out’ ceremony marks an exciting milestone for the foundation.

"We are creating dynamic learning spaces that will enable us to deliver our vision for education for years to come. Young people across our foundation and in our local community will have access to the tools and support they need to fulfil their potential – as we work to inspire the next generation of athletes, scientists and performers."

Robin Dryer, from Chadwick Dryer Clarke architects, commented: "At this landmark point in the build, it is a time to reflect on the past three years of activity and conversation with the Stephen Perse Foundation.

"It has been extremely rewarding to work with the governors, staff and pupils, who have always sought creative solutions to match their aspirations and with the expert project team guided this challenging project through to fruition.

"Looking forward, the construction is already revealing a stimulating sequence of new learning spaces and the rooftop pitch - a first for Cambridge - and the multi-purpose sports hall will be fantastic new resources for the school and the wider community."

First published http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/, written by Tom Pilgrim, 17 May 2017