Northside ISD Sports Gym San Antonio, TX

Project Category : School

Total Construction Cost : $26 Million

Total Gross Square Feet : 88,000 SF

Approximate Cost Per Square Foot : $295.45

How was the facility funded? : School District Bond Funding

Project Description:

Owners Vision

Excellence, the word, is in the branding for the Northside Independent School District in San Antonio. Excellence in education, including facilities that support the development of the full student, is in the District DNA. The Northside Sports Gym is a result of this desire for excellence by the Board of Trustees and the District Athletic Department. The district has seen tremendous growth in the last 10 years and conducts most athletic events at two primary district athletic complexes, the Hardin complex which also contains a sports gymnasium, and the Farris athletic complex, home of the new Northside Sports Gym. With the growth of student enrollment and the number of district high schools, additional gymnasium time was needed in both basketball and volleyball. Equity in facilities and access by all schools to quality facilities was a driving factor in developing the project. Helping the day-to-day schedule of the student athletes was key.

The Board desired a traditional design solution to new Gym appearance that expressed the Northside brand and that was compatible with other facilities at Farris.

Functional Planning

  • -Major program elements included the 2500 seat arena spectator support areas, inclusion of the district Athletics Administration, with conferencing facilities, a central district uniform distribution center and support facilities for the neighboring football stadium within the complex.
  • The building plan accomplishes these functional goals:
  • Separation of the player and coach zone from the spectator zone. The plan uses a top-down fed seating bowl, resulting in vertical separation from the seating to the gym floor.
  • Athletics administration level with visibility into both the gymnasium arena and the neighboring football stadium. Placement of Administration on the second floor with a linear floor plan affords exterior and interior views.
  • Adjacent conference facilities on the second level are near Athletics Administration and the kitchen serving the Gym concession.
  • Organize a day-to-day operations level on the first floor to accommodate the central district uniform distribution center as well as locker facilities for athletes, coaches and officials.


  • Parking at the athletic complex is at a premium. By positioning the gym directly north of the stadium, the siting of the new gymnasium minimizes the impact to the reduction of existing parking and improves site circulation for events at the stadium.
  • The Ticketing for football games was relocated to the Gym first floor to allow removal of the small, existing Ticket Building and make cash transactions and the vault more secure.
  • Locating the new gymnasium immediately adjacent to the football stadium provides premier views to the stadium field the stadium stands and views to the nearby natatorium and outdoor aquatics complex beyond.
  • The long axis of the building affords glass for natural light to the north and the south to enhance views of the athletics complex to the south and spoke spectator views from the concourse to the Texas Hill country.

Exterior Design

The Board sought to develop a building, traditional in appearance, with lasting materials that also reflected the brand of the district. The incorporation of of brick and included the signature blue of the district. Architectural detailing sought to incorporate an image reminiscent of major sports venues. The front door faces east to locate as many parking spaces within a comfortable walking distance, and in view of, the public entrance. An east facing canopy protect patrons as they ascend the stairs to the event entrance. The north glass wall faces the major highway to the north allowing the building to be a visible lantern signaling an event at night.

Interior Design

  • Athletics administration suite utilizes glass corridor walls for visibility and borrowed light transmission improving security and reinforcing the idea of transparency of operation.
  • Interactive Video Technology is integrated in the public concourse to highlight achievements in academics and athletics at each of the high schools and their feeder schools.
  • The interior finishes incorporate durable materials that reflect the building exterior including brick in a color palette that reinforces the district brand. Branded graphics provide messaging to support initiatives by the athletics department for total student development.


Operational costs were reduced with these strategies:

  • Durable materials in pre-finished metals, brick and concrete.
  • Zoned HVAC units for individualized control and energy reduction.
  • Strategically placed window walls for daylighting when high-level sports lighting is not required.
  • Economical finishes at the operations level on the first floor.

Floor Plans