As a manufacturer it is always fun to participate in high profile and unique installations. Over the years Draper has participated in projects where we provided gymnasium equipment for every level of play from professional to elementary and we have had to come up with solutions to address some rather difficult field conditions. Sometimes jobs that we think were pretty straight forward end up being more unique than we realize. Such was the case for a project we did a couple of years ago at Sidwell Friends School in Washington DC. This project was completed with Modern Door and Equipment Sales, Inc. (www.moderndoor.com) from White Plains, MD who is the exclusive Draper gymnasium equipment dealer in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
As we quoted the job and began design work on the backstops, divider curtains, wall pads and volleyball equipment we recognized the name as the school attended by many children of politicians and presidents, including the current first daughters. However, we had no idea that the facility would become an award winning building or just how its unique design would address the needs of a land-locked urban school campus. You can read all about this facility and how it addressed the schools specific needs at the below link.
It’s not your typical school gymnasium, but that’s what makes the new athletic facility at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., so unique.
The athletic facility was designed to optimize space on the urban campus and rests below ground, under an existing 400-meter track and football field.
“They [Sidwell Friends School] have a very limited amount of campus, so they had a pretty exhausted master-plan process trying to decide where to put their expanded athletic program,” said Roland Lemke, principal at Cannon Design in Washington, D.C. “They did look at smaller above-ground options, but those options didn’t really meet their program needs.”
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