Back in 2020, Cursor spoke to SSC director Wim Koch about the upcoming renovation. At the time, not everything had been signed and sealed yet, and certain decisions regarding the building’s design still needed to be made. Now, almost two years later, the project has started with the cutting of a couple of trees at the north side (the side of the Onze Lieve Vrouwestraat beltway) to make room for the extension. The inconveniently located electricity substation – one of the project’s thorny issues – will be relocated and included in the new construction, making it an integral part of the new west wing from the outside.
The extension in the north will include, among other things, changing rooms and a dojo. “That won’t be a problem as far as the sports program is concerned; everything can take place as planned. It might cause some noise nuisance at most, or you might have to follow a different access route at times. After that, we’ll start at the building’s south side, (near the Dommel, ed.). That will cause a bit more inconvenience, because we also need to realize the internal connections with the north side.”
During the renovation, the building’s north and south sides will be connected, as will the east and west sides. Those connecting corridors will give access to practically every hall, gym, changing room and other facilities. “The improved distribution of people is another important feature of the design. In the new situation, users of the building who are there to play a match will now enter the hall via a different side than the spectators.”
The corridors in the current SSC cause a bottleneck where people are regularly in danger of being slammed in the face by a toilet door. That will no longer be the case after the renovation, since the corridors will be over 4.5 meters wide. “We are going to connect the area where changing rooms 5 to 9 are currently located to the catering facilities. In the new situation, the entrance (currently to the left of the canteen, ed.) will be placed slightly forward, and people will have access to it without having to show their sports card (that check will take place elsewhere in the building, ed.). This means that everyone is welcome to visit the canteen and meet with one another. The catering facilities will also become more professional, with a broad assortment of food products and a professional kitchen with trained personnel. And the assortment will be more divers, because the public has changed. Vegetarian and vegan food products are in high demand, and we also want our food assortment to reflect that fact that TU/e has people from various cultural backgrounds. But don’t worry: there will still be plenty of greasy snacks on offer.”
Situations for users improves
The extension of the SSC won’t have any consequences for the adjacent sports fields. The outdoor playground will also be retained, except for the small patch of grass behind the playground, which will become a construction terrain. People who like group lessons have a reason to be happy: the SSC will have three new gyms for group lessons after the renovation is completed. This means that they’ll no longer need to follow lessons in any of the halls, which in turn will become available for the associations to continue to grow. “That too is badly needed." Fitness fanatics will also see their situation improve: their training facility becomes 2.5 times larger than the current fitness locations 1, 2 and 3 combined. Fitness 1 will become a spinning theater with several levels, and fitness 2 is going to be turned into a pole fitness studio and aerial silk room. The current spinning space will be turned into an office, and the current pole fitness studio into a staff room. "Such a room was badly needed, since staff members currently have no place of their own where they can have a meal, which is why they use the canteen. They definitely enjoy the company, but sometimes it’s nice to eat a sandwich without being interrupted.”
Construction activities on the north side have started by now and will be completed in the summer of 2023, after which the renovation on the south side is scheduled to commence. “The new part on the north side will then be used before it’s fully operational, so as not to interrupt the sports program too much.”
Contractor Hazenberg and installer Hoppenbrouwer will carry out the project, which is scheduled for completion in late February 2024, Koch expects. The tight market conditions as far as people and material is concerned also affects this renovation. “It takes longer to get certain materials, and everything has become more expensive. Our project isn’t any different from other projects in that regard. But we really hope that construction activities will be completed by late February 2024.”