IN 2016, THE SPORTS CENTER IN VIA SANTA GELTRUDE IN BOLZANO WAS GIVEN A NEW LEASE ON LIFE. TODAY, PROFESSIONAL, AMATEUR AND SCHOLATIC ATHLETES CAN TRAIN AND COMPETE IN SEVERAL DIFFERENT DISCIPLINES, RANGING FROM RUNNING TO JUMPing, IN A VENUE THAT HAS BEEN REDEVELOPED TO MEET THE HIGHEST STANDARDS AND IS APPROVED BY CONI, THE ITALINA OLYMPIC COMMITTEE, AND FIDAL, THE ITALIAN SPORTS FEDERATION
What happened in Bolzano in 2016 is becoming increasingly common in cities with outdated, run-down sports facilities: Instead of building from scratch, local leaders are deciding to rebuild existing structures to make them safer, bring them into compliance with new regulations and make them suitable for sports competitions and training.
The athletics center in Via Santa Geltrude was built in 1968 and was immediately approved by the CONI, Italian Olympic committee, for competitions. Designed as a hub for the city’s athletes, the venue is used not only by professionals but also by local schools. As a result, all of the center’s resources, from the track to the changing rooms, are heavily used.
So it was hardly surprising that assessments performed before the renovation began pinpointed several problems: deterioration of the artificial track surface, badly positioned and worn landing areas, irregular rainwater run-off, and stagnant water in several parts of the landing areas caused by subsidence.
The CONI facilities in Bolzano include an oval running track and an infield for the various track and field events, a grandstand, a building that houses the changing rooms and a parking area. The majority of the renovations focused on the track, grandstand and parking area.
The running track’s old asphalt surface, which had deteriorated and could not be repaired, has been completely removed and replaced with MONDOTRACK WS.
The designers and sports associations that use the complex chose a surface that could help athletes achieve excellent results in competition and that would guarantee flexibility and energy return perfect for daily training sessions. MONDOTRACK WS is regarded as the track that best meets the need for “high-performance material for professional sports competitions, is flexible and can guarantee safety, cushioning and energy return during training and competitions. The sports associations have approved the choice of surface and consider it to be high-performing with low impact on athletes’ muscles,” said Bertarelli, the architect in charge of the project and the facilities.
As part of the sports center’s redevelopment, auxiliary areas were also redesigned to improve safety and efficiency, and the grandstand was completely restyled and is now under a new roof; today it is fully compliant with European and Italian building requirements and is separated from the track with new, strong fencing. The auxiliary building (which houses men’s and women’s dressing rooms), a heating plant, an infirmary and the caretaker’s quarters were made more functional for those who use them.
The Via Santa Geltrude sports center has received a massive facelift. Anyone who was familiar with the venue before will notice that the facilities have been completely designed. Many of the landing areas and apparatus were badly positioned and were no longer regulation-compliant, and the protective cages for discus and hammer throw interfered with the track and other features.
Following the redesign, the complex received FIDAL approval for national, amateur and scholastic events—a critical step for the facility to once again host official competitions.
At long last, Bolzano has a sports center that can be used for both professional and scholastic competitions, and one the entire community can use for training, competition and to support their favorite athletes!