The latest addition to Elder High School’s compact urban campus is a light two-story volume named the Panther Fitness Center. After an extensive site analysis phase, the location was chosen for its ability to provide a “wow” factor immediately upon entering the main campus gate, be it at the start of the school day or on a Friday night en route to a football game in “the Pit” (built by faculty and students from 1935-1947), which has been named one of the top 10 HS football stadiums in the country.
The original HS building dates to 1922, with an addition in 1955 that generally continued the masonry and fenestration detailing of the original. The 2019 addition takes cues from the academic building but presents a contemporary interpretation. The main facade is a simple transparent glazed element that glows each morning and evening.
Paired steel columns at the front of the addition mimic the masonry pilasters. New brick is a direct match to the original, with limestone detailing at jambs and sills offering a clean interpretation of the more decorative original. The heavy masonry element on the corner of the PFC is an understated nod to the main entry and stair towers of the original, especially when viewed from the entry gate.
Phase I included the two-story envelope and build-out of the first floor weight training facility, locker room and coach’s office. Phase II included meeting rooms and fitness space on the upper floor. The floors are connected to one another via the open-air double-height entry volume and communicating stair.
Building Architecture- Large Scale (>10,000 sf)
Jeffrey Sackenheim - Principal in Charge & Project Manager
Jody Watson - Designer
Jamie Kruer - Designer
OUTSIDE CONSULTANTS: MEP - Motz Engineering; Structural - Schaefer; Civil - The Kleingers Group