BAM Construction has been appointed for an £11 million project to improve sports and arts facilities at Sunderland College.   The company will demolish several buildings at the college’s Bede Campus and build a new sports centre and a new visual and performing arts building.   The three-storey, 1,205 sq m sports centre will include a four-court sports hall, a fitness suite, a sports science laboratory, classrooms and changing facilities.   Also on three storeys, the visual and performing arts building will provide a performance hall; dance and drama studios; music, photography and media classrooms; recording studios; and art facilities.   Both new buildings are targeting BREEAM Very Good ratings. Sustainability features include orientation to maximise natural light, locally sourced materials, photovoltaic panels, air source heat pumps and some natural ventilation.   Works will also include providing landscaped courts, widening a road, resurfacing part of the car park, creating a new footpath, and relocating refuse facilities.   Coloured rain screen cladding boards will give the visual and performing arts building a vibrant appearance when approached from the car park.   Reglit glass cladding will allow diffuse daylight into the dance and drama studios and allow activity from within to appear as shadows on the exterior.   The sports building is designed to match aspects of the arts facility.   BAM Construction director Andrew Warwick said: ‘We are delighted to be building these important facilities for Sunderland College.   ‘These buildings will provide state-of-the-art teaching and learning spaces for Sunderland, as well as making the Bede Campus more aesthetically pleasing and practical.   ‘We will also be working to ensure the project benefits the local environment, economy and community.’   Work is due to start on site in April 2013 and be completed by August 2014.   BAM, which has offices in Gateshead, has carried out several projects in the North East in recent years. These include work at the Institute of Transplantation at the Freeman Hospital, Sunderland Software Centre and ‘Tuned In’ Redcar.

Within the last few weeks it has been ranked at the top of the UK’s league table for reducing carbon emissions and the best major contractor on the Sunday Times’ UK’s Best Companies to Work For list.