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School Gymnasiums Built with Steel- Part 1

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February 2, 2016

The Challenges of Gym Design and Construction

Kids today spend far more time staring at flickering screens than working up a sweat in school gymnasiums. That needs to change.

America’s youth is following in the dragging footsteps of adult couch potatoes.

Steel GymsTechnological gizmos and gadgets capture kids’ time and attention. Many of today’s children and adolescents have little time or interest in sports or fitness.

The majority of schools no longer require physical education classes for all ages. Obesity rates for both children and adults are staggering— and getting worse. (See infographic below.)

American schools must step up to the challenge before it is too late. Schools should instigate creative programs to encourage kids to turn off the technology and MOVE.

School gymnasiums need to entice kids to join sports teams, training programs, or fitness classes just for the fun and camaraderie of it.

Benchmarks for Building School Gymnasiums

Gymnasiums for elementary, middle, and high schools— as well as colleges— require the same basic criteria, regardless of the size or function of the facility.

FULLY USABLE SPACE: School gyms cannot function with bulky columns blocking the spectator’s view and the action on the floor. Open floor space is a must for any successful sports facility.

ADAPTABILITY: To be practical, school gymnasiums must be multi-function facilities. The same space may be used for athletic training, basketball games, pep rallies, physical education classes, tennis, volleyball— and unrelated school functions like dances.

Higher education facilities often offer indoor pools for competitive swim teams training and events.

CAVERNOUS AREA: Indoor sports demand plenty of room. Soaring roofs, extreme widths, and massive lengths are called for to create the most versatile, functional facility.

LIMITED BUDGET: School construction projects operate within strict budget restraints. Consequently, getting the most building for the least price is always a top priority.

OPERATING BUDGET: Initial costs of construction aside, schools are also concerned with the operating expenses of a new structure. What will a new gym cost to heat and cool, insure, and maintain?

TIGHT TIMELINE: Schools usually have very limited timetables for construction projects. Often, the facility needs to be completed between sports seasons or over the summer.

EXPANSION: School systems sometimes grow at phenomenal rates as the economy of an area explodes. Building a school gym that is obsolete in ten years makes no sense. Forward-thinking school boards and communities plan ahead. They want to be sure that future expansion or remodeling of the existing sports facility would be both feasible and affordable.

US Obesity Epidemic infographicSAFETY: The construction system under consideration should create a strong, sturdy structure for the safety of the students, faculty, and families.

GREEN BUILDING: Responsible schools build all campus structures with eco-friendly materials. Does the proposed gym contain recycled materials? Is it a durable structure? What happens to the building materials at the end of the structure’s usefulness?

EXTERIOR DESIGN: Schools must consider the appearance of the surrounding campus. The designs of school gyms should blend harmoniously with other nearby structures.

The Solutions for Building School Gymnasiums

Pre-engineered steel buildings are not only the best alternative for the challenges of school gymnasiums— they are the only sensible solution.

Learn how steel framing specifically meets the unique requirements for school gyms in part two of this series.

In the meantime, ask for more facts on RHINO metal buildings for gyms and sports facilities for churches, communities, and schools. Call 888.320.7466 toll free to chat with one of our experienced steel building specialists. Ask for more information, details on steel building benefits, or a free quote on your next project.

- by Bruce Brown,
Steel Building Systems, Inc

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