SMC2 has built several Préosports in Corsica over the past few years. Education buildings department head for Corsica’s local government Guy Graziani tells us how important these sports facilities are.
Why did you decide to build this type of sports facility?
Corsica’s local government is responsible for educational facilities and has a long-standing experience in building and maintaining secondary education buildings. So it’s our job to provide the pupils of these institutions with the facilities they need to take part in physical education and sports in the right conditions, no matter where the schools are located. Because an inventory had shown up a number of shortfalls, a decision was made to implement a regional plan to develop sports infrastructure in educational institutions.
The ones located in rural areas were equipped with open air sports facilities that couldn’t be used in rainy weather. So we decided to build covered, but not closed, sports facilities in four secondary schools (Luri, Moltifao, Lévie and Sainte Marie de Sicche) each with a headcount of about one hundred pupils. A canopy is also a huge advantage in summer. The first Préosport was delivered 8 years ago, and the second 5 years ago.
Could you tell us about these sports facilities?
They feature a wood framework – an important point for us – with tensile fabric architecture. Measuring 44 by 22 metres, they provide the right space for team sports like handball, basketball, volleyball and badminton. We opted for a resin sports surface. In addition, we built changing rooms nearby to make things easier for the pupils. We have had excellent feedback from the principles of these schools about these structures, which are often the only sports facilities they have.
Also, some of them have made agreements with their municipalities to make these sports facilities available outside of school hours.
And what’s it like to operate them?
We are very satisfied because, in addition to making a major investment, one of our objectives was to avoid difficult operating and maintenance constraints for these small institutions. This goal has been attained because running costs are low: no heating, basic lighting, etc. In terms of maintenance, the surfaces simply require cleaning because of the nearby trees. As for the rest, we’ve had no problems with the fabric canopy or the wood framework. It’s the schools themselves that carry out periodic checking. Plus, a key technical person from our department can be called in to check for any problems, but there’s been no need so far.