First, let me make this perfectly clear.....THIS IS NOT AN ACTUAL PROPOSAL. It is simply for discussion/fun.
Secondly, allow me to describe how this came about. I'm a architecture junkie, but can't draw a lick and lack everything it would take to be a competent
So anyways, a thought came to me last week. What if I started a 2nd blog to highlight new stadiums and stadium upgrades in the NE Ohio area, or all over the country for that matter? Well, after some quick searching, I found that, in one form or another, those all pretty much exist and would just be redundant. Running one tremendous, world-renowned blog can be a lot to keep up with, I'm only human you know.
What I did find in my search was a blog run by a man named Terry Schulz that had a bunch of different conceptual stadium drawings. He had a 2nd blog that was created with the sole purpose of proposing a new arena for the NHL's Detroit Red Wings. Check out each site, nothing amateur about it is there? These weren't the kind of scribblings you'd find on a notepad like I used to do in Mrs. Bradley's study hall. Terry obviously has at least a strong interest in architecture, if he's not in the industry itself.
I thought I'd float a test balloon his way and attempt to make contact with him, and see if he'd be interested in doing a quick concept drawing for an Orrville gym. Not only did I get a response, but he was willing to give it a go. I fed him all the specifics, names and logos....and what I think would make a great high school gym.
If you've read this site at all, you know I'm a sucker for the Canton Fieldhouse, I love everything about it, and think that if Orrville were to ever build a new gym, it should model the Fieldhouse, at least in seating design (2 levels & seating "in the round"), albeit on a smaller scale. Seating on all 4 sides would give our gym a most unique feel, as no other area gym does that, and only Berkey Fieldhouse in Smithville has 2 levels of seating, another important feature.
What resulted just blew me away. Take a look at this masterpiece (click for a larger size)....
1. Seating is 2070 on lower level and 384 on upper level (2454 total). Maybe a little big (I think ideal numbers for a school our size is 1200-1600). You could always hack out a section behind each hoop....or just get rid of the 400 upper level seats to trim down the capacity, leaving one level of seats like this. But I don't think 2000 is out of the question. I've always been told that if you're bothering to build anything, make it bigger than you think you'll ever need. You just never know.
2. All lower level seats are retractable, allowing for 2 full length courts to be utilized when seats are retracted.
3. Locker rooms would be located under the 2nd level of seats
4. Concession area and concourse would be located above the first level seating, giving the gym a recessed feeling. Much like this gym in New Castle, Indiana.
5. The weight room and baseball batting cages were just a throw in and not specifically requested by me, however, I do think a weight room would be a necessity in a stand-alone facility, and maybe some sort of classroom space as well.
6. Naturally, we will need a very large trophy case. :)
I'm sure we could get lost in the details, what logos should be on the floor, what color the key should be, etc. My goal is to communicate the need to make a new gym, if ever built, something unique and special, not just a cookie cutter gym with no heart.
Where to build it? A fairly simple question. Build it on the vacant land between the high school parking lot and the football field, the corner of Ella and Mineral Spring streets. You'd still be able to utilize the same parking area and the building would still be a part of the campus environment the district is trying to create.
I would hope that at least the court, if not the entire building would be named in memory of Coach Smith. He put Orrville on the map in terms of basketball, and helped stock our trophy cases for 25 years, including 3 state titles and 400+ career wins.
Unfortunately, this project as a whole is about as likely as me running a 4 minute mile, and with the all-weather track needing resurfacing, and either a renovation or replacement of the existing high school on the horizon, capital projects will be few and far between over the next 10 years.
We certainly can dream though. I'd love to hear your thoughts on what you'd like to see in a new gym, and what you did and didn't like about this proposal.
The comment section is wide open. New readers, this is your chance to dip your toe in the pool.