16 March 2017 • by Lotte Hoes
Sports Campus ready for use: time for a sneak peek
The THUAS sports complex on Laan van Poot is too small and too old. The Teacher Education in Physical Education and Sports Studies programmes have grown too big for the space and the building no longer fulfils today’s education goals. That is why THUAS decided to relocate the degree programmes to Zuiderpark, where the Zuiderpark Sports Campus was officially opened last week following several delays. The building will not be put into use by The Hague University of Applied Sciences until the summer, but H|Nieuws was allowed to take a peek inside.
‘See those beams under the ceiling?’ Joost Muiser points to two crossbeams with rings hanging from them. ‘You can move those anywhere you want, a one-of-a-kind system.’ Muiser and his project group spent years working on the creation of the Sports Campus. With blue protective booties over his shoes, he guides me through one of the three gymnasium areas, where the scent of a newly laid latex floor still hangs in the air. He notices a minor imperfection in one of the biggest rooms, where the painters missed a spot on the wall the size of a pinhead. ‘What a shame,’ he says with a smile.
ADO youth players at The Hague University of Applied Sciences?
With its 34,000 square metres, the Sports Campus is a gigantic building, constructed at the site of the former ADO Den Haag football stadium. THUAS owns 28 percent of the surface area. The rest is the property of the municipality and ROC Mondriaan regional training centre. ‘That’s what’s so great about this building,’ says Muiser. ‘Everything’s interconnected. Not only do several sports clubs train here, but also, for example, the ADO youth players.’ The Sports Campus is not only available for use by THUAS and young football players, but professional top athletes will also find much to their liking here, including a beach volleyball arena and top-class sports hall big enough to accommodate at least 3,500 spectators. ‘That is why we had sliding doors installed that can be closed when an event is scheduled. This prevents visitors from wandering around our teaching areas.’
Ziplining in the gym
The Sports Campus is expected to be well patronised by athletes from every corner of the sports world. This allows our students and employees to expand their networks, says Muiser, but there are also enough areas designated solely for our school. Space has been made available on the ground floor, for example, for the library and three gymnasium areas. A new building offers the possibility to install new technological gadgets. One of the THUAS gyms, for instance, is equipped with a force plate that makes it possible to accurately measure a person’s speed. ‘We also have a hawk eye and observation window like in CSI, so that students can easily watch others at work,’ says Muiser. He emphasises that every room is equipped in a different way. The second gym, for instance, has been customised for gymnasts and daredevils can let themselves go in the third gym, which features a zipline and climbing wall.
A few ‘minor’ adjustments
There is clearly plenty of opportunity to get active, but no THUAS building could be complete without classrooms, a media library, lecturer rooms, self-study rooms and lecture halls. The large lecture hall can accommodate 130 students, although it still lacks sockets and tables. ‘Those will probably be added later,’ says Muiser. ‘Unfortunately, they were not included in the schedule of requirements and, due to the budget and timeline, we can’t install them yet.’ A little bit further on is yet another lecture hall in need of a few adaptations. ‘This room was initially too small,’ says Muiser. ‘We wanted at least two classes to fit into this lecture hall, but the size of the classes has grown increasingly larger over the years. So we are expanding the space by adding a
sort of conservatory to it.’
The necessary changes are not the only obstacles in the construction process of the Sports Campus. Completion was postponed several times; the complex was supposed to be finished in 2016. Muiser does not believe that this was the fault of THUAS in any way. ‘We could’ve met the 2016 deadline, as we have been very clear about all aspects as a commissioning party. But it’s simply not possible to influence all aspects,’ he explains. By this he is referring to the Vestia housing corporation, which withdrew as a partner in 2012. ‘Either way, I’m very pleased that the Sports Campus is ready for use!’
Teacher Education in Physical Education and Sports Studies will be moving in this summer, so we can kick off the 2017-2018 academic year in the Sports Campus. New students can familiarise themselves with the new building on7 April during the Open Day event. The festive opening of the Zuiderpark Sports Campus is scheduled for Saturday 17 June and Sunday 18 June 2017, when all residents of The Hague can come admire the new complex. On the opening weekend, the first two top sporting events will also take place: the World Tour Beach Volleyball and the World League Volleyball events.