Some call them ‘school gyms’ – we call them ‘catalysts for community pride and athletic excellence’

Igniting student performance extends far beyond classrooms. The spaces that build character, develop athletes, and instill community pride are equally as important to ensuring students reach their full potential.

From basketball and volleyball games to assemblies and dances, a school gymnasium requires extreme flexibility to meet the needs of its district. But perhaps the greatest responsibility these spaces have is to serve as an extension of pride for its students, faculty, and community at large.

When CPL designs these facilitators of pride and athletic excellence, we take a wholistic, community-minded approach. We make sure these environments maximize flexibility, elicit positive, emotional responses, and impart dignity for all those who encounter them.

“Our school gymnasium designs are incredibly intentional,” said CPL K-12 Principal, Chris Colby, AIA, LEED AP. “There’s no such thing as a detail that’s too small for us to consider. Our number one goal is to make sure these environments are branded, functional assets that evoke intense levels of school spirit for the entire community to enjoy.”

Maximizing Flexibility

How many purposes can one space have? A well-designed school gymnasium must be able to adapt quickly, anticipate the unexpected, and offer flexibility that accommodates a wide range of changing needs. Plays, trade shows, blood drives, meet ups for local boy/girl scouts; we imagine every possible scenario to make sure these spaces become true hubs that encourage community activity.

The gymnasium at the Rochester City School District’s School No. 50 can quickly transform into a performance theater or a cafeteria space.

Eliciting an Emotional Response

Have you ever been to a Chicago Bulls basketball game? The team’s introduction to the court is bound to charge up the crowd and knock their socks off. The lighting, acoustics and energy in the room creates an emotional experience for everyone who’s in attendance. We strive to generate a similar level of electricity and excitement in the school gymnasiums we design. These environments should invigorate you as soon as you walk in.

The Southwestern Central School District’s High School gymnasium boasts a state-of-the-art sound system and dimmable LED lighting, both of which add high levels of excitement and dramatization during varsity athletic games.

Instilling Pride

Why does pride in a school matter? When students take pride in their school, there is less vandalism, less absenteeism, and more interest in staying on a path to success. We take pride in schools and their gymnasiums very seriously by focusing on small design details that yield powerful impacts. One example of this is the intentional placement of school logos, especially in large, outward facing windows in high traffic areas like bus loops or outdoor fields.

The Newburgh City School District’s High School gymnasium will feature a large, Golden Eagle on its corner window, which faces the school’s bus loop. An image of the mascot will also be placed on the opposite side of the facility, where it will be seen by anyone on the school’s soccer and/or baseball fields.


Michelle manages and coordinates CPL’s digital content from social media, blogs and e-newsletters to the firm's website and intranet. She brings high energy, focus and advanced writing skills, which enable her to produce relevant content to inform, inspire and enhance CPL's brand awareness and value propositions.

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