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Now benefiting the College, Community and external Clubs

When St Francis Xavier's College in Liverpool missed out on the " Building Schools for the future" funding, it was down to the school to fund the much needed new sports facility for the College. After researching all possible options to build a new facility, a MugaCova from Collinson ticked all the boxes.

When the “Building Schools for the future” programme was axed in 2010, it was terrible timing for SFX College in Liverpool who were in the next round of schools who had qualified to go through a huge rebuild process to improve facilities for their 1250 pupils.

With indoor sports facilities consisting of an old fashioned  gym, limited access to the School hall and a very old swimming pool in need of over half a million pound in repairs, the College was  excited to be gaining state of the art sports facilities through the BSF Programme. However, following Michael Gove’s controversial termination of funding they were forced to reconsider their options, the modernisation of sports facilities was essential to provide the students with facilities to take part in regular and varied physical activities in a dedicated facility.

With the goalposts changed, 2020 Liverpool were hired as Project Managers and began researching feasible solutions for a new sports facility. Marie Black, Business Manager, at SFX applied for funding to aid the project but unfortunately there was none to be had so it was down to the college to fund the new facility.

Priorities were decided and it was quickly realised having the  swimming pool  brought back to its former glory  would  be great, but the reality… the return on investment  provided by a sport specific swimming facility wasn’t the best investment of funds, what the college really needed was a facility capable of hosting a variety of sports.  A deal was struck with the Local Education Authority; they would fund the demolition of the swimming pool and make good the  groundwork’s to prepare the site ready for a new facility.

With a budget set, it was clear that a traditional sports hall simply wasn’t an affordable option. Various possibilities were presented to the board of Governors but the idea which stood out from the rest and ticked every box was a Multi Use Games Area supplied with a Collinson MUGACOVA.

Dan Collinson Managing Director of Collinson said ‘Sadly we are unable to rely on our British weather for outdoor sports, the MUGACOVA provides an excellent solution, especially  when budgets are restricted, so activities can continue whatever the weather ‘

Krol Corlett Construction Limited was principal contractor with Collinson erecting the MUGAOVA itself. Mugacova™ consists of a sturdy steel-framed superstructure which is protected by the tensile membrane on the roof only, leaving the sides uncovered; ideal for sheltering outdoor games areas such as tennis or basketball courts. Optional integrated sports equipment such as basketball goals offer a cost effective and modern facility that can be enjoyed whatever the weather.

At 32m x 21m the MUGA gives the College the versatility for two classes to use the facility simultaneously by using the dividing wall, ideal for exam periods when up to 400 pupils may be sitting an exam leaving the sports hall and school hall unavailable for PE classes.

Being in use since before the end of the summer term the school have already experienced the ‘all year round benefits of the facility with sport continuing despite  our undecided weather patterns,   the MUGACOVA has allowed play to continue come rain or dare we say.. . glorious sunshine!

During rain showers the students have been able to continue to play outside in the fresh air whilst protected from the wet weather,  but on the flip side,  during the recent heat wave the UK has experienced, the MUGACOVA has allowed play to continue in the shade, offering protection from the intense sunshine.

The  new MUGACOVA is not only a benefit to the College, but the local community and external clubs are also being invited to rent out the facility in the evenings with the new facilities floodlights enabling  play to continue after dark.

Marie Black added “We are extremely happy with the new facility and envisage great benefits to the college and the students as they are able to experience a variety of sports which with the old facilities were impossible.”