Sacred Heart Schools Practice Gym
Our work with Sacred Heart Schools (SHS) in Atherton began with the master plan and design of a new Pre-K through 8 campus that supports SHS’ mission to educate the whole child; to model social awareness, sustainability and community; and to support interaction and cross-disciplinary learning. The Pre-K – 8 campus includes four new buildings, 85,000 square feet total: two classroom buildings, an assembly hall / performing arts building, and a library. Modernizations / renovations include several classrooms, an art room, the lower and middle school Speiker Gym, and the preschool. Our work on the adjacent High School campus includes a new energy-efficient multipurpose practice gym.
Located between an existing sports field and a building containing classrooms, a lecture hall, and a cafeteria, this 11,800 square foot practice gym was designed to be a flexible space that can easily transform to accommodate sports and events—from non-competition volleyball games to fashion shows and circus acts. Large glass “garage” doors open up on both sides of the building allowing access to the playing fields to the west and entry plaza to the east, creating a permeable indoor/outdoor space with a natural breezeway. A durable, synthetic floor responds like a wood sprung floor for sports but is easy to clean and moisture wicking to support the myriad activities within. The space accommodates PE class, basketball and volleyball practice, science fairs, summer school programs, and community events. The practice gym uses a roof-mounted computer to control the vents and fans to bring in outside air to naturally ventilate the space, removing the need for air conditioning. These fans are much smaller that typical for HVAC systems, reducing ceiling clutter. LED lights along with daylight and occupancy sensors are automated to turn on when the sun is low. For most of the day, the space is lit entirely by natural daylight from the prolific solar tubes along the roof, large windows, and the “garage” doors.