Buckeye Union High School District Gymnasiums
Located in the rapidly growing Phoenix metropolitan area, the Buckeye Union High School District continually strives to be competitive within academics and athletics on its traditional high school campuses. The new gymnasium facilities for Buckeye Unified (BUHS) and Estrella Foothills (EFHS) High Schools presented an opportunity to integrate progressive contemporary design into the historical agriculture community. Although each facility contains some commonalities to obtain design efficiency and to form some district standards, each maintains the individuality of its campus. The modern aesthetics of EFHS contrasts sharply with the traditional character of BUHS, and such a discrepancy required integration of some of the campus’ strong design elements. The entries were intended to prepare the event participants, as well as the athletes, with a sense of dignity and awe upon arrival by using lighting and large open spaces to promote school spirit and allow the small town loyalty to remain present.
The main gymnasium space has an occupancy of 1,750 and is flexible enough to enable a variety of athletic and assembly events. Full locker room facilities, along with training, wrestling, and other auxiliary spaces were configured to allow for the maximum circulation and the appropriate adjacencies.Since the Buckeye Union High School District was formed in 1929, it has seen continued growth and change within and without its boundaries. Its original facility, built in 1928, has been expanded through many renovations and additions, the most recent of which resulted in an entirely new facility constructed in 1999.
The new gymnasium facilities for BUHS and EFHS presented many exciting design opportunities. Each facility is of equal quality and houses many of the same functions, allowing designs to be standardized wherever possible. The main gymnasium space holds 1,750 people and is flexible enough to enable a variety of athletic and assembly events. Full locker room facilities for both girls and boys is provided, along with training, wrestling, and other auxiliary spaces. Completing the program is a system of customized high density athletic storage modules utilized for maximum storage efficiency.
While some components of these facilities were applied to each campus, a prototypical design did not address the many unique parameters of each site. The campuses of BUHS and EFHS are of different configurations, and the location of the gymnasium relative to other campus functions is entirely singular. Required adjacencies dictated a particular arrangement of programs within the gymnasium facility. Furthermore, since BUHS required more programs than EFHS, a facility of larger size was required.