The latest stage in a £14 million redevelopment of the University of St Andrews sports facilities has been started by university principal Professor Louise Richardson.
Wielding a spade on a chilly morning this week, Professor Richardson cut the first turf in the £5.55 million project which will see brand new facilities created and the existing St Leonard’s Road sports centre refurbished and extended.
The university’s aim is to create one of the best university sports facilities in Scotland.
The new complex will include a new eight-court sports hall, new reception area and six new changing rooms while the access road to the centre is widened and a new temporary car park is created to the rear.
The new sports hall will also be able to accommodate removable seating for 400 people.
Following completion in December, the next phase will involve refurbishment of the existing sports centre building, converting the present facilities into a new 130-station fitness suite and reallocating space to create a new strength and conditioning suite.
The final phase of the project will see a four-court indoor tennis centre constructed adjacent to the sports centre.
The university is also currently planning new off-site boathouse on the River Tay.
The current sports centre was built in 1968 when there were fewer than 2,000 students at St Andrews University, the majority of whom came from the UK.
The sports in which they took part were limited as was student involvement, and the facilities at the time were not available to the local community.
Today, the student population exceeds 8200 and the university enjoys one of the highest participation rates of any university in the UK. Students regularly participate at national and international levels.
University sports facilities are now also available to members of the public.
There are more than 60 sports clubs active at the university and more than half of the student population participates in the clubs.
Students have the opportunity to try sports as diverse as aikido and cheerleading, korfball and ‘ultimate’ frisbee.
The university is committed to investing in sports, making sports central to the student experience, providing opportunities for all and tailored support for those who seek to excel.