Architect: Partners in Design Architects, Inc.
Owner: Kenosha Unified School District
Contractor: Camosy Construction
Following nearly a forty year wait, Mary D. Bradford High School finally has a multi-purpose stadium complex of their own for football, soccer and track & field…and based on community and alumni feedback, it was well worth the wait. Spectators and participants are greeted by a team building which naturally integrates the school’s branding into its architectural features, including their black and cardinal red school colors.
Besides the game itself, this building is the center of game day activities, with its generously scaled plaza where vendors sell spirit wear and related goods and services, and where hundreds of home and visitor fans congregate without obstructing access to the bleachers and grandstands. This building provides a large concessions area, public toilet facilities and bright, generously sized team rooms.
The building's three part composition wraps the perimeter of the 400 meter track and is clad in a combination of ground face concrete masonry units and architectural metal, with a sealed finish, which not only provide a clean contemporary appearance, but also resist graffiti and vandalism.
Attention to detail does not end at the team building. Positioned along a well trafficked arterial street, it was important that the grandstands not turn its back to the street. Here the same branding materials used on the team building are also integrated into the grandstand’s street façade, creating an attractive monumental appearance. Lower portions of its exposed structural columns are clad in the same ground face concrete block and the unsightly under-structure, so common in similar pre-engineered structures, is enclosed with an economical metallic gray siding, which not only creates a clean and refined appearance, but also encloses generous amounts of storage space for physical education and athletics activities.
Arched trusses, a design element featured prominently at other campus athletic facilities, are also integrated here to create even more visual interest. The three center bays of the grandstand structure include a steel framework for interchangeable graphics, which then screen the unremarkable backside of the press box. A deep wide flange beam below them creates a custom “retro” appearance and provides a bold backdrop for the school’s illuminated signage. Integrated team pennants recognize conference rivals and emphasize the festive game day atmosphere.
Typically, the design focus of high school sport athletic facilities like this are centered on the activities which take place on the field. This project provides a well-coordinated composition of site planning, unique expressions of architectural and structural elements which provides a remarkable backdrop to its athletics activities to enhance the game day experience.
Photos: Kenosha Unified School District