Feature Article - June 2015
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Schools & School Districts

A Look at Trends in Schools & School Districts


There was a slight decrease in the percentage of schools respondents who reported that they have plans to add features at their facilities over the next three years. In 2015, 27.8 percent of schools respondents said they have such plans, down from 28.6 percent in 2014. Schools are also much less likely to have plans for adding features than non-schools respondents, 44.2 percent of whom will be adding amenities to their facilities over the next three years.

The 10 most commonly planned additions include:

  1. Synthetic turf sports fields (28.3 percent of those with plans to make additions)
  2. Bleachers and seating (28.3 percent)
  3. Concession areas (26.7 percent)
  4. Locker rooms (23.3 percent)
  5. Outdoor sports courts, such as basketball or tennis courts (20 percent)
  6. Fitness centers (16.7 percent)
  7. Classrooms and meeting rooms (16.7 percent)
  8. Natural turf sports fields (16.7 percent)
  9. Outdoor tracks (16.7 percent)
  10. Fitness trails and outdoor fitness equipment (13.3 percent)

More schools respondents in 2015 than in 2014 are planning to add: concession areas (5.9 percent more); outdoor tracks (4.2 percent more); locker rooms (3.9 percent more); fitness centers (2.8 percent more); and natural turf sports fields (2.8 percent more). Outdoor sports courts, and fitness trails and outdoor fitness equipment were not among the top 10 planned features for schools respondents in 2014. They replace indoor sports courts and playgrounds.

Programming

The programming most commonly found among schools respondents continues to be youth sports teams. Some 72.2 percent of schools respondents in 2015 reported that youth sports teams are among their program offerings, reflecting no change from 2014.

Other programs commonly found among school respondents include: educational programs (60.6 percent); fitness programs (51.4 percent); sports tournaments and races (45.8 percent); individual sports activities such as running clubs (38.4 percent); swimming (32.4 percent); sport training such as golf or tennis instruction (32.4 percent); performing arts programs (32.4 percent); special needs programs (31.9 percent); and holidays and other special events (30.1 percent).

Programs that saw growth from 2014 to 2015 include: special needs programs (up 4.2 percent); individual sports activities (up 2.2 percent); sports tournaments and races (up 0.7 percent); and holidays and other special events (up 0.7 percent).

Schools respondents were much less likely than others to report that they have plans to add programs at their facilities over the next three years. Some 15.3 percent of schools respondents said they had such plans, compared with 33.9 percent of non-schools respondents. This also represents a slight decline from 2014, when 17.5 percent of schools had plans to add programs.

The top planned programs among schools respondents include:

  1. Youth sports teams (up from No. 3)
  2. Fitness programs (down from No. 1)
  3. Educational programs (down from No. 2)
  4. Sports tournaments and races (no change from 2014)
  5. Sport-specific training (no change from 2014)
  6. Day camps and summer camps (did not appear in 2014)
  7. Special needs programs (up from No. 10)
  8. Teen programming (did not appear in 2014)
  9. Adult sports teams (did not appear in 2014)
  10. Individual sports activities (down from No. 6)

Programs that fell off the top 10 list from 2014 include swimming programs, holidays and other special events, and mind-body balance programs.