Ridgewood High School Gymnasium Addition
A celebration of Heritage
In honor of the school’s 50th anniversary, Ridgewood High School District 234 built a new gymnasium addition with sustainable attributes to benefit the students and the surrounding community of Norridge, Illinois. The expansion provides space for team practice and community adult athletic leagues before and after school hours. The school’s commitment to teaching students about environmentally friendly topics is evident with the passage of a new “Environmental Science” course, which will provide over 140 hours of instruction per year, per full time student.
A Focus on Fitness
The concept of an active and engaged life was a central theme to the program for the LEED® Gold certified Ridgewood High School Gymnasium Addition. The design team met this challenge by creating a space that is about connecting student life with fitness and demonstrating visually that life needn’t be compartmentalized.
Upon entering the gym, the eye is drawn up to the highly reflective ceiling, punctuated by colorful and dynamic truss style light fixtures. Adding to the rhythm of visual activity is a running track suspended from the joist structure above. The track itself opens to a cardio-fitness area featuring a curtain wall that draws natural light deep into the space and connects the interior fitness areas to the synthetic turf football field and outdoor running track.
Filtering out the Noise
Located above the fitness area is a vegetated green roof designed to reduce noise and vibration from the large, nearby airport, absorb rainfall which reduces detention requirements, lessen the heat island effect, and diminish deflection and vibration from the running track. The space will also serve as an outdoor eco-classroom.
This addition is the crescendo of a multi-phased, multi-year renovation for the entire building. Each addition and renovation project was designed and built to meet the sustainable design standards ingrained within the culture and curriculum of School District 234.
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