Herricks High School Fitness Center + Entry Plaza

The goals for the new Fitness Center building addition were focused on improving the student well-being and athletic training experience at this high-achieving high school, with an intent of replacing an antiquated and crowded ‘Weight Room’. The location for the new 3,700-sf Fitness Center was selected prominently at the main building entry plaza – which presented the design team with an opportunity to make an architectural statement.

Part of the larger project approved by voters in 2016, the new Fitness Center has been well-received by students, faculty, and the community at large. Classes are held within it relating not only to fitness but to health and wellness with the connection to science and physiology curricula. The Fitness Center includes multiple state-of-the-art treadmills and stationary bikes, as well as weight-lifting stations comparable to those used by health clubs.

At the rear (corner) of the new addition is a glass curtain wall that opens out to the nearby wooded area, overlooking the athletic fields below. The opaque front (corner) elevation was informed by students’ desire to feel safe and protected from the busy drop-off loop at the front of the building. Metal was used to reinforce the idea of an innovative design approach to the building’s identity and the impression that it makes on the students, visitors, faculty and community that interact with it.

The Fitness Center’s aesthetic focus on school pride and identity has been successful in inspiring additional design projects at the school. Its vocabulary of material, texture, dexterity of form and coloration have been adopted in various forms and applications throughout the campus: window and door replacements, masonry reconstruction projects, roof flashing details, Auditorium renovation elements, lighting fixtures, building details, etc.

The entire school entry plaza is set atop of an acropolis-style site location and has been also influenced by the new addition. Metal, glazing, and complementary masonry accents have been incorporated all along the front face of the building that spans like a horizon from the new Fitness Center across the main entry to the Auditorium on the far side of the plaza.


“This facility is really a dream come true for our student athletes and will give us the opportunity to train and stay competitive with the best of the best.”

Joan Keegan, Principal