Bringing together six separate facilities that were no longer fit for purpose required an extensive level of stakeholder engagement from pre-construction right through to handover.
As part of Cheshire East Council’s ‘Sustainable Community Strategy’ the building was to unite several services under one roof, improving efficiencies and ensuring that rather than simply being a set of co-located services, each service was an integral part of the whole Lifestyle Centre offer. This includes pool, gym, sports hall, library, specialist daycare and family service facilities.
There was also the challenge of finding a suitable site and developing an effective design for such a large number of areas and requirements, while keeping within the council’s budget and creating a highly energy efficient building.
The initial schedule of accommodation called for a building twice the size and double the budget. Through consultation with the Client, all users and stakeholders, the team identified that many of the spaces were only needed at specific times of the day, and through design and end user management/scheduling these spaces were rationalised and developed as multi-use, allowing the project to be viable and affordable.
Problems with the initial proposed site were apparent early in the project, but through close working with CEC several alternative sites were appraised to keep the project on track. Although the new site was completely different in nature to the original, the work of agreeing spaces wasn’t lost and it became a process of reworking the accommodation blocks. Working closely with the client and constantly reviewing, challenging and appraising the design solutions with stakeholders made for a successful project.
Bringing together these disparate services has exceeded CEC’s expectations in terms of increased footfall and library and gym membership. Crewe Lifestyle Centre is also highly energy efficient and achieved within budget. Much of this was down to working closely with the client to support them from pre-construction onwards to fully establish their expectations and engaging with stakeholders and the community, such as arranging 200+ site visits.
This one-team approach and community engagement has led to the project winning several awards, including the RICS Regional Awards- Community Benefit Category and Local Authorities Building Control Awards- Best Public Service Building.
" Kier and the team they formed joined us at brief preparation stage and worked in partnership with all our Users to develop a Lifestyle Centre. The site for the building was a constrained town centre site and their skills and team working was essential in creating a solution to meet our Users diverse needs and create an integrated and flexible asset. "Project Manager Cheshire East Council
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