Hereford Sparks Gymnastics Club, Hereford

Wright Building Services were contracted to design and construct a raised pit for Hereford Sparks Gymnastics Club located at the Halo Leisure Centre in Hereford. Halo Leisure Centre are undergoing a huge redevelopment project and part of this project was a new purpose built gymnastics facility for the Hereford Sparks Gymnastics Club.

A new mezzanine floor was installed by the main contractor, Speller Metcalfe. The total floor area was approximately 435sqm and had an area of 14.5m wide by 6.5m long which was sunken by 620mm ready to accommodate a timber raised podium which incorporated a “jersey” covered foam pit. This sunken area allowed the standard 620mm high timber raised podium to sit flush with the rest of the floor area. There was a fire escape located at one end which was already situated at the correct height ready for the podium.

Between ourselves, the equipment supplier, Halo Leisure Centre and the main contractor, we designed a purposeful pit to accommodate not only the equipment the Club requested, but also certain safety issues the building required. Our “tried and tested” timber pit design was drawn out and the plans submitted to the relevant parties. The main criteria of the timber pit design was it had to incorporate a structurally sound walkway leading to the fire escape, a safe landing area for a vault run, track and beam and a safe dismount area for a set of high-bars and a set of a-bars.

Additionally, the floor area of the raised podium needed to be strong enough to accommodate another set of high-bars dismounting onto a landing mat. This set of high bars are to be installed on the floor area of the raised podium where it meets the concrete finished floor level. A calculation was made to determine the strength required and floor span area and the correct timbers were installed to ensure a safe and solid construction.

Once the plans/drawings had been approved and a date was agreed, Wright Building Services started the construction. The project took under 2 weeks from initial construction to final installation and was handed over ready for the equipment supplier to install the foam, jersey cover and equipment.