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New running track at York St John University
STUDENTS in York are set for a post-Olympics sporting boost with the creation of a new running track.
Work on the 110m sprinting facility on playing fields next to the Nestlé factory in Haxby Road has begun as part of York St John University ’s new 57-acre Centre For Sport - with construction teams moving in shortly after Usain Bolt’s triumphs in the London 2012 men’s 100m, 200m and 4x100m finals.
The six-lane synthetic track at the Mille Crux site, on land which the university recently bought from the confectionary firm, will be completed by the time the new academic year starts next month.
It will be a training venue for 100m and 110m hurdles events and a base for steeplechasers to work on their technique.
It is part of York St John’s expansion aims, which were revised after the university withdrew proposals to extend its Lord Mayor’s Walk-based campus onto the Union Terrace car park in the centre of the city last year.
The withdrawal followed widespread opposition at City of York Council ’s intention to sell the site.
University bosses are now looking to officially launch the track with an open 100m championship at the beginning of the new term.
David Chesser, York St John’s pro vice chancellor for resources, said: “This fantastic new sports facility will be a great resource for our students and the sports community of York.
“We’ve all enjoyed the success of Team GB at London 2012, and our students and staff have been particularly inspired by how well the Yorkshire athletes have performed. “By investing in these facilities, we hope to encourage even more students to get involved in sport, no matter what they’re studying.”
Following the purchase of the land at Mille Crux, the university plans to “enhance” the site’s current playing fields – which include two football pitches, a rugby pitch, a cricket strip, tennis courts and a bowling green – and provide new facilities to create “a centre for sporting excellence”.
A masterplan for the Centre For Sport is being drawn up, and York St John has applied for permission to install temporary changing and teaching facilities ahead of a permanent base being built.
Since the Union Terrace proposals were dropped, the university – which has 6,000 students – has also won approval for a £12 million accommodation block in Carmelite Street and a spokeswoman said its expansion plans were “ongoing”.
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