St. Bede's College

St. Bede’s College in Manchester is an independent Roman Catholic School for children from 3 to 18 years of age. Founded in 1871, the college is highly-respected and well-recognised. They knew that their sports hall flooring fell below their high standards, and that a replacement was needed. The hall is used for multiple activities across a broad range of age groups, so improved flooring was essential.

With a strong reputation to uphold, the college entrusted our team here at Recreational Coatings to replace the existing floor with a new, high-performance surface.

Project scope

The college asked us to provide a quote to replace the existing floor. After consulting with the client and assessing the environment, we provided a specified scope of work that they were happy with.

The existing flooring in place was Granwood flooring, which is commonly found in sports facilities. However, it is prone to complications. Granwood floors have complex maintenance needs, and upkeep failure can seriously decrease lifespan. Therefore, the college asked us to replace the flooring with a new, up-to-date, fully-compliant surface.

The new surface needed to be multi-purpose to suit the college’s extensive sports curriculum. The hall would also host exams and school functions, so must withstand varied usage and heavy traffic.

Challenges faced

It soon became clear to our team that this project was going to be a challenge. We knew a full flooring replacement was needed, and we’d also been informed the school had been built on marshland. As such, we were aware there would be potential issues that might arise when the floor was taken up. We’d need to use our expertise to tackle the foundation and drainage issues we might uncover.

When our team uplifted the floor, we revealed a very uneven concrete sub-floor. This required specialist blasting and grinding to even-out the sub floor before the new flooring could be laid. Our team needed to tackle this challenge, and promptly, to meet the college’s completion timescale.

Work completed

Our skilled team used trusted systems and processes to complete the work. Firstly, we shot-blasted the concrete slab, removing old coatings, dirt and residue and preparing for new surface application. Then, we applied a liquid DPM and a mesh reinforcement grid under a pumped Weber screed. Liquid DPM dries quickly to form a flexible, elastic membrane, providing damp-proof protection for the concrete floor

The new flooring was then ready to be installed. The chosen floor was a 9mm Gerflor® performance vinyl in two colours, meeting the client’s requested colour-scheme. Finally, the floor was fully bonded to the new screed.

Finishing touches

To make the new flooring fit-for-purpose, we added line markings to suit using premium flooring paint. We also added the school logo to the floor, giving a professional, on-brand finish to the surface.

Our in-house core drilling team also supplied and installed socketed netball posts. Heavy base floor posts can cause significant damage to sports hall flooring, so providing socketed posts increases the surface lifespan.

In addition, all storerooms positioned off the hall were resurfaced. This provided a clear, clean finish and increased longevity and protection for the hall as a whole. Finally, we supplied the school with our carpet tile protection system and purpose-built trollies, helping the college to prolong the flooring’s lifespan.

Project outcome

Despite the unexpected challenges we faced, the project was completed on time. The work needed to be fully finished by the start of the new term, so the entire project took place during the school summer holidays.

The hall was finalised and ready for use, accompanied by a manufacturer’s warranty and our Recreational Coatings installation guarantee.

We’re delighted to have received high praise from a happy client, and a strong recommendation:

‘Recreational Coatings Ltd had a very professional manner to the works carried out. They remained punctual and extremely reliable for the full duration.

Jed Hill is tenacious and has a very intelligent approach to resolving problems as they arise. The overall job was more difficult than first anticipated but Jed’s team remained focused and determined in order to get the Sports Hall up and running before the start of the new term. The College appreciated all the extra work that was done during the process.

St Bede’s College would certainly use Recreational Coatings Ltd for future works and would highly recommend their service to any other potential clients.’

We’re incredibly proud to have delivered the project on time and to have exceeded our client’s expectations.

To find out how we can deliver extensive sports hall replacement projects in challenging circumstances, chat to our team today.