Watervliet City School District Watervliet, NY
Phased School District Improvement | Athletic Complex
The Watervliet City School District found itself with two historic, neglected, and undersized educational buildings that were in need of major renovations to almost every component and system. The district put to the voters three consecutive bond referenda from 2007 to 2009 to landslide support.
The aging educational buildings received new windows and doors, new roofs, new finishes throughout, modern technology in classrooms, new heating and air conditioning systems, and 24 new classrooms.
The crowning jewel of the project is the new cafeteria, gym, fitness center, and indoor track and turf field with track and grandstand. Working within state aid constraints, the design team strategically planned the conversion of the existing gym to the cafeteria and kitchen, which maximized state aid and made room in the budget for a new $10 million athletic complex.
New Gymnasium and Athletic Track and Field
Constructed to allow maximum flexibility for the district’s physical education program and provide a showcase for inter-scholastic athletics, the new complex boasts two full-length basketball courts and a suspended running track and two-story Conditioning and Fitness Center. An anteroom for the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame pays homage to the district’s stalwart athletes.
CSArch converted a challenging site with a 30-foot slope into a unique opportunity to create a three-stage scheme. At the apex, the complex is accessed from the first floor of the existing school. This level contains the suspended track, which spectators use to access the bleachers from the top. It also houses the upper tier of the fitness center.
The next level down is court level. It aligns with the building’s basement floor, which houses the existing locker rooms. By making court level here, additional locker rooms were unnecessary. This level also houses the main floor of the fitness center and restrooms.
Football team rooms, restrooms and concessions are situated one level below court level. This elevation opens to the new athletic fields, which align with the original high school with bleachers framing the entrance to the artificial turf grounds.
Additional features include an outdoor six-lane track, lighting, retaining walls and fencing, a press box, bleachers, and outdoor concession area and restrooms. The lights are an exciting feature for the school as it allows the district to host night games, which they were unable to do prior to the field opening.
Outstanding Project Award – Learning by Design 2012 Design Awards