The existing athletic fields and high school building at Groves feel as though they’re miles apart from one another. Separated by a busy parking lot and access road, student-athletes attending daily practice or breaking at half time must make the arduous trek in full pads and helmets. For visitors, long lines for toilet rooms, congested concessions windows, and tight quarters have been the hallmark of the Groves athletic experience. How could we help strengthen the sense of community and improve facilities while maintaining the vital site circulation paths?
The design for the new fields and auxiliary gym prioritizes public space, visual connections, and overlap to stitch the site together. New team and concession buildings reduce travel distances for players while shaping a public plaza at the stadium that flows into a concourse under the new bleachers. This public space will provide fans ample room to gather, even during the half-time rush, and it is the perfect place to grab a selfie with the repurposed school falcon sculpture. From the track level of the auxiliary gym, one can watch nearly every outdoor sporting event, including rock climbing, creating the sense of a connected campus.