The Snyder Athletic Center Design Team hosted an informal information session in the Mural Room of Paresky Commons on Tuesday, inviting students and faculty to take a look at potential graphic designs for the building and give feedback on the building’s image and branding.
Tyler Hinckley, a Project Architect at the Perkins+Will firm in Boston, said, “The primary goal of this gathering is to really get the community’s input on what message the building should convey and how to convey that message. So it’s certainly an update on the design progress, but we’re really looking for feedback on what this building is really about [and] how you convey that through traditional graphics or more contemporary graphics, bold interests of color or large text.”
After a planning process that lasted for more than a year, the architectural design is now in the finalizing process. Andover’s Athletics Facilities Master Planning Committee worked with Perkins+Will to design the architectural structure of the building. The company’s subcontractor, omloop, provided expertise in branding and building the visual identity.
“There are certain things you have to do in a building as far as graphics, like the way people find their way [around the building], but there’s also an opportunity to express the history of [Andover] and also kind of mix in the energy of the space,” said Brian Pearce, owner of omloop.
The building will feature a new indoor 200-meter track, 12 squash courts, locker facilities, weight rooms and multipurpose classrooms. The infield of the track will have four indoor tennis courts that can double as basketball courts. These extra facilities will allow more teams to practice at the same time, end sports earlier and allow outdoor sports teams to hold indoor practice sessions in bad weather.
“One of the biggest benefits and one of the biggest goals of the design is that [sport] practices will be complete by dinnertime… Instead of having practices go past dinnertime [and] into study hours, practices will be completed by dinnertime so you can go to dinner and get your work done without having late practice,” said Hinckley.
Nancy Jeton, Special Assistant to the Head of School and Co-Coordinator of the Athletic Facilities Master Plan, said, “Some of the outdoor sports that suffer from not being able to compete during bad weather will have a place to come in bad weather and still practice and compete. These are modern facilities. We’ll be able to host more tournaments and provide more space for kids, recreationally and in terms of interscholastic sports.”
The construction of the Snyder Center will mark the first step in completing the strategic plan’s four-step institutional initiative to improve Andover’s athletic facilities.
William Orben, Instructor in Math, Statistics and Computer Science, said, “I play a decent amount of squash, so having the great opportunity to play squash in the courts will be awesome, and also, because I coach soccer, the possibility of our players having a locker room space closer to the field is a big deal.”
“[I’m excited] to have a better indoor track, and a better facility where everything is [in one place], like squash, basketball and track, and you don’t have to go to different areas around campus to see different sporting events. It’s really convenient. This is very promising for our Senior year,” said Jeff Zaeder ’18.
Alex Dziadosz ’16, Co-Captain of Andover Boys Soccer, is happy that future students will have the opportunity to experience the convenience of a new athletic center closer to the field.
“For me, being a soccer player here at Andover, having the convenience of the new athletic center right next to the field would be great… Borden Gym has gotten a little outdated. They have done a great job keeping the integrity of the building and a lot of the buildings here at Andover, but I think the students – especially athletes – are looking for something new, something refreshing. This will be a really nice facility and that makes me really excited,” said Dziadosz.
Dziadosz also hopes that the facility might include more areas for teams to meet and discuss their sport. “[I’d like] more team meeting rooms. Not just rooms where you can sit as a team, but more interactive, with TVs or projectors to watch films… If we could get updated spaces where we can do more advanced kinds of chalk talks, scouting other teams and programs, I think that’d be super helpful… If we could have spaces right in the athletic center, just 20 yards from the field, where we could go to continue our session, that’s a game-changer,” said Dziadosz.
“I’m excited for the new workout gym, which will give students an opportunity to become stronger and fit for different variety of sports. Being strong is an important aspect for all athletes in all sports and the workout gym will help with this,” said Jack Warden ’19, an attendee of the session.
“[The Snyder Center] is a place where every single kid on this campus can come to have fun and be fit, and hang out with friends in a really healthy way. I just think it’s going to be a very cool place, very inviting, with lots of options for kids,” said Jeton.