Miriam School is an innovative educational institution that serves children in Pre-K through 8th grade with multiple learning disabilities, attention deficits, speech/language, sensory and/or fine/gross motor delays. The school needed a full-size, multi-purpose gymnasium space to support a wide range of physical activities as well as special assembly events both during and after school hours. Hastings+Chivetta was asked to design an addition that included the gymnasium space along with an entry link, public restrooms, office space, storage space and outdoor recreation facilities.
The addition is located to provide easy access from the school throughout the day, and it is also configured such that access to the school can be restricted during after-hours public use of the gym. A glass link connects the school to the gymnasium, opens to a public entrance on one side, and provides access to the outdoor playground. It also serves as a dedicated public entrance for special events.
Acoustics in the gym were an important consideration due to the multi-purpose nature of the space and because many of the students are highly sensitive to noise. Thus, a premium acoustical roof decking was provided to control reverberation, and acoustical masonry units were used on the walls to reduce echo.
Both products are high performance acoustical treatments that are durable enough to withstand physical activity over the long term. On the exterior, red brick with special accent coursing, colored glass and a metal gable roof are used to create an appearance that complements the existing school while at the same time establishes a unique identity for the gymnasium.