Wilmslow High School, Cheshire

Wilmslow High School, Cheshire

Client: Wilmslow High School
Type of works: supplied Taraflex™ Sport M Performance flooring

Judged as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2011, Wilmslow High School in Cheshire, is classed as a Specialist Sports College so, when it was decided to build a new sports hall, there was a determination to specify the building to the highest standards and install the best flooring possible. Gerflor’s Taraflex™ Sport M Performance was quickly identified as the natural choice due to its high levels of comfort, performance and safety, combined with its durability, easy maintenance and multi-sports capability.

Wilmslow High School has nearly 2,000 pupils aged from 11 to 18 and the belief that physical education and sport can enrich people’s lives is fundamental to its ethos. The school is one of the East Cheshire centre’s of excellence for badminton, is a Cheshire cricket centre of excellence and has a strong netball tradition. Consequently the new hall, known as the ‘Olympic Hall’, was designed to provide four badminton courts, a full basketball court, plus practice basketball courts, cricket nets and volleyball courts, along with plenty of run-off space around them. Additional facilities include changing rooms, a PE classroom, disabled facilities, office space and storage facilities.

Built to a tight schedule, Gerflor worked in partnership with the building contractors and other players in the project support team to ensure that the court markings were correctly aligned with the overhead lighting together with the basketball and netball posts and sockets.

When it came to installing the floor, Gerflor’s Dry-Tex System was utilised as it allowed the Taraflex™ Sport M Performance to be laid even though the concrete slab was still damp. This meant there was minimum delay to the build programme and that there was no need for additional moisture barriers (DPMs), saving both labour and material costs. The way the flooring was laid, in sheets with welded seams, was seen as a great advantage over a wet pour floor, due to the speed and efficiency of the installation.

Taraflex™ Sport M Performance is the result of more than 60 years of research and development investment and experience by Gerflor. The flooring is categorised as a point elastic floor complying with the EN 14904 Standard for indoor sports surfaces. This means that it compresses around the point of impact to absorb the force of the shock or impact. At the same time, its cushioned surface means it is comfortable to run or walk on. A P2 category flooring, it offers 35 - 45% shock absorption and is 9mm thick.

The high performance of Gerflor’s Taraflex™ Sport M Performance is achieved through a number of innovative features including: CXP HD, D-Max or D-Max+, Protecsol® and Sanosol®.

CXP HD (Cellular Xtreme Process High Density) offers unparalleled comfort in the form of a very high density, closed cell foam backing layer. D-Max and D-Max+ provide durability through a surface complex made up of calendared PVC sheets reinforced with either one or two fibreglass grids. Triple action Protecsol® offers an intelligent surface treatment, a skin-burn free surface and a surface that is cost effective and easy to maintain. Applied in the factory during manufacture, the Sanosol® treatment provides lasting protection for the materials against bacteria and mould.

Stuart Dodds, Assistant Head Teacher at Wilmslow High School, comments: “We wanted a flooring product which complemented the quality of the hall’s structure. The contractor who laid the floor recommended Gerflor and we have had no reason to doubt our choice. The Taraflex™ Sport M Performance has been down a year now and looks fantastic. It’s remarkably easy to clean and comes up looking like new every time.

“Gerflor offered a huge amount of advice, brought in samples and were able to show us examples of their work that we could visit. Everything they did confirmed what we already knew, that this was the right type of flooring; what’s more we were able to match the colour we wanted. They gave us total confidence to do it.”

A measure of the Olympic Hall’s success is that it is in use from 7.30am through to 10pm every weekday and is also used at weekends. As well as pre-school training sessions, the hall is let out in the evenings through High Leisure, the bookings and facilities management business for the school.

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