Recreation Management - Ideas and Solutions for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

August 2017


Inside South Side High School's Redevelopment

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By Chandler Garland

South Side High School in Rockville Centre, N.Y., got a $45.9 million improvement, including athletic field redevelopment to accommodate multiple sports. BBS Architects, Landscape Architects and Engineers recently completed the athletic field redevelopment, renovation and expansion of South Side High School as part of the school improvement program. The program, aimed at improving and expanding the Rockville Centre Union Free School District, was financed by a bond issue approved by voters in 2013.

"BBS serves as the multi-discipline designer for the entire district-wide construction program, which also includes upgrades to multiple athletic fields, construction of additions to Watson Elementary School, as well as numerous exterior and interior renovations throughout the Rockville Centre School District," according to BBS Principal Architect Roger P. Smith, AIA, LEED AP.

Before beginning the architectural and engineering designs for South Side High School, and other projects in the district's overall improvement initiative, BBS reviewed existing facilities, analyzed demographic data and trends, assessed costs of alternatives, and polled district personnel and the local community for input on the project.

Based on this extensive research, BBS developed a three-part program for construction:

  • 1. Site work: sports fields, playgrounds, pick-up and drop-off loops, driveways, and parking areas.
  • 2. Facility needs: required maintenance and capital improvements to existing facilities and infrastructure.
  • 3. Spatial needs: additional classrooms, administrative offices, and other facilities.
  • Integral to the high school's redevelopment was an 81,500-square-foot multi-sport, synthetic turf field, which accommodates a lacrosse field, a soccer field, a football field, a softball field with a 200-foot foul line, natural clay home plate and pitching area, a backstop and artificial turf bases, high jump, long jump and pole vault landing pits, D zones, new curbs with nets and fences, a resurfaced five-lane, 400-meter, all-weather urethane running track, and four Musco Lighting Light-Structure Green stadium lights.

    In addition, BBS renovated and expanded older spaces for the school. "The architectural team designed two additions to house all of the spaces that were previously located in temporary structures. …Within the existing main building, the renovation upgraded the science lecture rooms and laboratories, regular classrooms, the library, food service facilities and other spaces. The new design also addressed internal student traffic flow issues and an imbalanced student housing capacity between the front of the building, surrounding the auditorium, and the back of the building, where most of the classrooms had been located," said BBS Designer Tracy Hansen.

    Under site management of Park East Construction, a team specializing in the management of complex building projects, BBS's design staff was able to efficiently and creatively upgrade their community. Some 65 percent of the budget went to the construction of new fields and facilities, while 35 percent went to the renovation, expansion and site layout revision.

    "The South Side High School project called for a comprehensive rethinking of the existing school facilities," explained BBS Project Manager Kenneth G. Schupner, AIA. "The redevelopment program has transformed what began as an inefficient multi-building campus into one expanded and upgraded main building situated on a completely redesigned site with new athletic fields."