Prior to this project the existing sports and fitness provision at the Academy consisted of a 20m swimming pool, four court sports hall, a 3G all-weather pitch and five grass football pitches.
In 2012 following a competitive tendering process Pulse were appointed to deliver the Academy’s vision and satisfy aspirations for a new dual use fitness facility. Chosen for their ability to offer a more bespoke and tailored service with the added value of more than 30 years professional leisure expertise, Pulse rose to the challenge - providing an objective assessment of how the school could increase school fitness facilities to generate a revenue surplus whilst covering year-round operational costs.
The biggest challenge for Pulse was to achieve this in less than six weeks, on a strict budget and within the existing shell of a disused engineering building!
In addition to the challenging building space which structurally was strong but impractical due to it’s original purpose. Pulse not only needed to make the space an attractive environment that would engage and motivate fitness users and members but to also ensure optimum security, access and safety at all times for the different user groups.
Pulse were also challenged with meeting the needs of the pupils and wider community with a varied and engaging mix of equipment, which needed to entice, attract and encourage participation whilst providing safe and effective performance for the varied age and ability levels of pupils and public alike.
Utilising Pulse’ professional leisure management expertise Montsaye Academy also asked for assistance and recommendation regarding all commercial aspects in particular the management of members and procedures for booking, ticketing, cash handling, direct debit collection and reporting on key performance indicators such as participation and revenue.
Pulse presented practical well considered advice with rationale, justification and the relevant projected costs with return on investment and encouraged the academy to review their recommendations in consultation with key stakeholders, in particular the board of governors.
The recommendations included equipment selection, design and layout, building refurbishment including decoration and branding and facility management issues such as marketing, sales, health and safety, security, maintenance and replacement costs and IT infrastructure.
The new fitness facility complements the broader delivery of the academy’s curriculum and existing sports and fitness offering to pupils and staff.
It enables the pupils to have regular, monitored access to a state-of the-art fitness suite as part of their timetable and/or for extracurricular usage; pupils have the ability to record their participation and activity and then utilise this data to supplement and use across other key subject areas such as maths, science and ICT.
More than 1000 students have used the new facility since its opening in October 2012, average participation is 45 minutes in duration, twice a week.
As expected, a positive impact has been seen in the wellbeing of pupils. Additionally personal quality improvements such as confidence, concentration, and self-esteem have all increased.
345 private members paying an affordable monthly fee have already joined and more than 50 paying staff members are also maintaining regular use of the fitness facility. There is an exciting and varied class timetable providing more than 14 classes per week which include activities such as spin,circuits, Bowka, street fit and dance mats.
The academy is also in the process of developing strategic partnerships with sports clubs and local groups to grow its income potential and have the ability to offer additional after school sports programs to pupils.