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Flexible Athletics

The Novogratz Center for Athletics
Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn, N.Y., recently completed construction on The Novogratz Center for Athletics, Designed by Jack L. Gordon Architects, the new 27,900-square-foot facility is the first new building on the school's Dyker Heights campus in nearly 20 years. It was designed to accommodate Poly Prep's growing athletic program, as well as to give the school's squash and wresting teams a new home.

The design team employed a pre-engineered steel structural system to boost the building's cost-effectiveness, customizing the system to meet the school's needs.

The design activates the main façade by angling the east front wall, producing a dynamic aesthetic of motion and grace reflective of sports. The articulation of the south and east facades achieve a scale consistent with existing campus buildings.

The split-rib concrete masonry unit clad elevator tower helps to transition between the existing traditional brick buildings and the new Athletic Center. The exterior wall of the existing Legacy Gymnasium building was left exposed to form the south wall within the lobby spaces, further integrating the existing building with the new structure.

The first floor of the three-level building features a 12,428-square-foot squash facility, housing four practice squash courts and two all-glass, international-competition-sized squash courts. This level is connected to the four existing squash courts within the adjacent Legacy Gymnasium building.

A 3,430-square-foot mezzanine level provides restrooms for men and women, as well as office space for the school's athletic department. This level was designed to align with the same level as the adjacent Legacy Gymnasium floor, providing direct access between the two buildings.

Finally, the 11,311-square-foot second floor provides multipurpose gymnasium space. The flexible configuration of the design accommodates wrestling as well as basketball, and includes retractable spectator seating. A divider curtain can be lowered to separate two practice fencing lanes form the main space.

A 733-square-foot outdoor terrace on the south side of the building provides 270-degree views of the Verrazano Bridge and surrounding Poly Prep athletic fields.

Poly Prep Country Day School: www.polyprep.org
Jack L. Gordon Architects: www.jlgordon.com