Feature Article - June 2014
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A Look at Trends in Schools & School Districts

Schools & School Districts

The top most commonly planned additions include:

  1. Synthetic turf sports fields (36.1 percent of those with plans to make additions)
  2. Bleachers and seating (30.6 percent)
  3. Concession areas (20.8 percent)
  4. Locker rooms (19.4 percent)
  5. Indoor sports courts (18.1 percent)
  6. Classrooms and meeting rooms (16.7 percent)
  7. Fitness centers (13.9 percent)
  8. Natural turf sports fields (13.9 percent)
  9. Outdoor tracks (12.5 percent)
  10. Playgrounds (11.1 percent)

More schools respondents in 2014 than in 2013 were planning to add concession areas (20.8 percent vs. 15 percent); locker rooms (19.4 percent vs. 18.3 percent); indoor sports courts (18.1 percent vs. 11.7 percent); classrooms and meeting rooms (16.7 percent vs. 13.3 percent); fitness centers (13.9 percent vs. 10 percent); natural turf sports fields (13.9 percent vs. 10 percent); and playgrounds (11.1 percent vs. 6.7 percent).


The programming most commonly found among schools respondents continues to be youth sports teams. Some 72.2 percent of schools respondents in 2014 reported that youth sports teams are among their program offerings, down from 82.8 percent in 2013.

Other programs commonly found among school respondents include: educational programs (63 percent); fitness programs (55.3 percent); sports tournaments and races (45.1 percent); swimming programs (40 percent); individual sports activities (36.2 percent); sport-specific training (33.2 percent); performing arts (32.8 percent); holidays and special events (29.4 percent); and special needs programs (27.7 percent).

Programs that saw growth from 2013 to 2014 include fitness programs, which increased from 53.2 percent to 55.3 percent; and swimming programs, which grew from 35.2 percent to 40 percent.

Schools respondents were less likely than others to report that they had plans to add programs at their facilities over the next three years. While 29.8 percent of non-schools respondents had such plans, only 17.5 percent of schools did. That said, the percentage of schools with plans to add programming grew from 16.9 percent in 2013, and 12.3 percent in 2011.

The top planned programs among schools respondents include:

  1. Fitness programs (no change from 2013)
  2. Educational programs (up from No. 4)
  3. Youth sports teams (down from No. 2)
  4. Sports tournaments and races (up from No. 6)
  5. Sport-specific training (no change from 2013)
  6. Individual sports activities (up from No. 8)
  7. Swimming programs (did not appear in 2013)
  8. Holidays and other special events (did not appear in 2013)
  9. Mind-body balance programs such as yoga and tai chi (down from No. 3)
  10. Special needs programs (did not appear in 2013)

While fitness continues to hold the top spot, other programs have appeared on the top 10 list that were absent last year, including swimming programs, holidays and special events, and special needs programs. These programs replaced festivals and concerts, day camps and summer camps, and adult sports teams.