Award Winner - May 2012
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Beckerman Athletic Center
Hamden Hall Country Day School

Hamden, Connecticut

S U B M I T T E D    B Y

Stanmar Inc. in Wayland, Mass.

Size: 62,700 square feet

Project Cost: $12.2 million

Quick Tour:

  • Lobby with control desk
  • Trophy cases with donor wall
  • Multipurpose aerobics room with concession
  • Natatorium with six-lane, 25-yard lap pool, two 1-meter diving boards and seating
  • Offices
  • Locker rooms
  • Fitness center
  • Student lounges
  • Competition gymnasium
  • Elevated jogging track
  • Study room, conference room
  • Training room

Overlooking Lake Whitney in the New England town of Hamden, Conn., Hamden Hall Country Day School was founded in 1912. Since then, it has grown to more than 565 students from preschool through grade 12, and the campus encompasses more than 12 acres and eight buildings. In addition, 1.5 miles off of the main campus, the school has a 30-acre athletic complex, which features athletic fields, tennis courts and now, the new 62,700-square-foot Beckerman Athletic Center.

Designed and constructed by Stanmar Inc. of Wayland, Mass., the new athletic center embodies Hamden Hall's philosophy of a "sound mind in a sound body" for all of its students. The goal of the project was to create a venue to complement the school's athletic, recreational and leisure-time programs. Administrators wanted a comprehensive facility to provide updated fitness and recreational space, as well as a social gathering space, for students, families, alumni, faculty and the community.

The one-story, eclectic-style building features a redbrick exterior that complements the school's athletic complex. As visitors approach, they are greeted by a dramatic, circular canopied entrance and lobby with a striking rotunda.

Inside, the lobby features birch paneling, trophy cases and porcelain tile, and offers a glimpse into multiple program spaces, including the natatorium, aerobics room and gymnasium. Windows provide views out to the athletic fields and beyond, with natural lighting accentuated via a circular skylight and downlighting.

From the lobby, program spaces can be accessed with a central "Main Street" corridor running from the front to the rear of the facility. Program spaces include a natatorium with a six-lane, 25-yard lap pool, diving boards, seating and more; spacious fitness center with cardio machines, free weights, flat-screen TVs and views to the athletic fields; competition gymnasium with one wood court, two synthetic courts and an elevated jogging track; and a spacious student lounge.

Neutral tones combine with the school's colors to help unify the center and provide a high-energy feel that is consistent with the athletic usage. The vibrant colors and textures help develop an unbounded feeling, especially when teamed with the center's open, airy and light program spaces.

With the addition of the Beckerman Athletic Center, administrators have been able to bring together their varsity sports offerings into one venue, including the swim team, which previously used an off-site facility for practices and meets. They also can offer supervised activities in the center during school breaks, and open it up to the local community for yoga, fitness and dance classes. Most importantly, Hamden Hall's students have their own convenient and popular social and academic gathering spot.

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