As readers of the print edition of Hartley News will know, the University’s Jubilee Sports Centre is getting a major makeover as part of our wider estate improvement plan.
The groundbreaking ceremony at the end of last year marked the start of the £40m upgrade to sporting facilities on the Highfield Campus. The newly refurbished centre will include a modernised gym with 200 exercise stations, five new sports studios including dedicated martial arts and indoor cycling spaces, and a bouldering/ climbing wall.
Sport has a long and proud history at Southampton, that stretches right back to our earliest years. Before the 1920s, the University hired pitches from various clubs for cricket, football, and other games. In 1925, Mrs Montefiore made the University the gift of a field at Swaythling, opposite south Stoneham House. A further donation from her husband, Claude Montefiore, allowed for the construction of a pavilion, and much improved facilities for students to play football, hockey and netball.
A new assembly hall with a gymnasium and changing rooms was completed by March 1949. The gymnasium was used for badminton, boxing and gymnastics. In 1950 the University purchased a further 26 acres at North Stoneham to expand its playing fields.
The 1950s saw an explosion in the creation of sporting societies at Southampton, including the admission of the sailing club into the Athletic Union.
By 1967 the new Student’s Union building designed by Basil Spence was completed, featuring a range of indoor sports facilities.
It wasn’t until 2004 that the University unveiled the Jubilee Sports Centre as it appears today.
The University’s Special Collections keep detailed records of how the University has changed over the years, and has even compiled a detailed history of sports at Southampton.
This new development of the sports centre is a continuation of the University’s commitment to invest in the physical and mental wellbeing of our students.
Work on the new facilities is well underway, with plans for a grand opening in 2024. In the meantime, we’ve collated some images of the work as it progresses along with some artist’s impressions of what the building might look like.