“It was important that the athletics aspects of this school be developed to the highest possible level because it is an important part of the culture of both former schools.”
Paul Stevens, Senior Principal
Physical education is one of the driving curriculum themes from the Board in this project. Typically you would see the gym along the outside perimeter of the school, but here we flipped it around and moved the physical education component into the centre of the school and off the major circulation corridors. Large amounts of glass allow you can see in from a number of areas.
It was important that the athletics aspects of this school be developed to the highest possible level because it is an important part of the culture of both former schools. We enlarged the gymnasia to accommodate 2 full-sized basketball courts. It is one of the largest gyms I have seen at the high school level in Ontario. They now have the ability to host provincial ball sports and with that comes the need for efficient spectator space. The track and field is the main sports facility on the site. It is located at the front of the school and as you drive into the site, it is one of the first things you see.
We also had to ensure there is sufficient change room space so we designed a dedicated and fairly generous team sports room, primarily related to the football program which is quite strong at this school. It is close to the gym but also located near the fields to reduce the amount of grass and dirt tracked through the school. As part of the clustering of the phys-ed program, we also created a weight room and a separate aerobics room which are both accessible from within the gym.
Gymnasium walls are typically solid spaces but we saw this as an additional communications opportunity. While the walls are solid at the lower level, we used the upper spaces for graphics and a neutral segment which can be used as a projection and broadcast wall.