Sportsmasters UK’s contracts manager Kenneth Campbell explains how Hugh King’s kiln-dried sand and silo system keeps the sports surfaces specialists competitive.
The new £37.1 million development at Lasswade High School in Midlothian, just outside Edinburgh, is a facility designed for the 21st century. With an innovative layout and sleek styling, the community school epitomises a new era of education where the range of learning experiences is diverse and all-encompassing.
Part of the new-look campus is top-class sporting facilities installed by natural and artificial sports surfaces specialists Sportsmasters UK Ltd. On the approximate site of the old school, football and rugby pitches have been created with Hugh King’s sand providing an all-important granular content.
“We needed kiln-dried sand,” says Sportsmasters UK’s contracts manager Kenneth Campbell. “For this particular project, we used in the region of 115 tonnes of sand which acts as the in-fill for the carpet. There is a layer of sand that goes into the bottom of the pitch surface before the rubber goes onto complete the pitch.”
With four to five layers of sand spread over the pitch during the installation, Hugh King’s kiln-dried sand was key to bedding in the playing surface. But while the dried material was certainly important, the way it was delivered also carried benefits.
“The silo system was something we wanted to investigate because we thought it would make life easier for us,” says Campbell. “As we found out, the advantage of the silo was we could reduce our labour costs which, over the course of a job of this size, probably meant saving around £1,500. That saving helps us to be more competitive when we’re trying to win new work.”
Rather than going down the traditional route of sand being delivered in tonne bags and manually loaded into a spreader, Hugh King’s on-site silo meant Campbell’s team could automate the process freeing up time for other jobs. “The sand is discharged from the bottom of the silo,” Campbell explains. “We have a special spreading machine which drives in underneath the silo and is filled in tonne batches. The tractor takes the sand out on the pitch and spreads it. We saved £1,500 on two men that didn’t need to empty bags and were deployed elsewhere. It was a big plus for us.”
As well as helping to cut overall costs, Hugh King also delivered a sports-sand solution that perfectly suited Sportsmasters UK’s exact requirements. “Hugh King’s sands are perfect for what we were looking for,” says Campbell. “They met the criteria laid down by the testing laboratories and carpet manufacturers – they tell us what we need to do and Hugh King has the materials that help us meet those standards.”
He continues: “We have used Hugh King for other jobs – we recently constructed a long-jump pit for another school. That was obviously a different grade of sand, but we used Hugh King for that operation as well. The team at Hugh King have been really good on every project we’ve used them on.”