State Department of Education
Thomas D. Bailey, Superintendent
STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
THOMAS D. BAILEY, Superintendent
Florida State Department of Education
Topical Index --------
I Introduction ----- -.- ----
II Preliminary Planning ------... .............-
III Site Selection and Development--
IV Shower and Dressing Facilities ----..
V Swimming Pools and Bathing Places__
VI Indoor Play Areas __------------------.-.
VII Outdoor Play Areas -----
----... -- 29
-.-.....------ ---- --45
-.---- --- 53
The passage of a constitutional amendment in November, 1952,
making it possible for county school systems to spend approximately
one hundred million dollars for the construction of school buildings
without the help of local school funds, has rekindled the faith of
school leaders that adequate facilities will be provided for the schools
of Florida. It is generally recognized, however, that even this
amount of money is insufficient to meet the needs of the rapidly
increasing school population. In fact, available funds will provide
the bare necessities only if maximum value is received for the ex-
penditure of each dollar. The physical education program, because
of its importance and because of the variety of facilities required,
must have special consideration if maximum values are to be derived
from capital outlay funds.
This bulletin, "Facilities for Physical Education," provides in-
formation that will be helpful in defining the facilities needed, in
providing specifications, and in suggesting standards which will meet
The study was completed during the summer of 1953 in a work-
shop cooperatively undertaken by the State Department of Education
and the College of Physical Education and Health of the University
of Florida. It is the product of the efforts of a large number of
specialists representing various disciplines and agencies.
We acknowledge with appreciation this fine contribution of the
committee and its consultants to the field of school plant planning
with a major emphasis on facilities for physical education. We are
grateful also to the University of Florida for courteous extension of
personnel and facilities for the study. Especial acknowledgment
should be made to the workshop directors-Mr. B. K. Stevens of the
College of Physical Education and Health, University of Florida, and
Mr. Zollie M. Maynard, Consultant in Health, Physical Education,
and Recreation, State Department of Education.
The workshop group has developed a highly useful manual which
will have meaning not only for those who teach physical education
but also for all who have responsibilities for administrative and in-
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Workshop-Facilities for Physical Education
B. K. Stevens, College of Physical Education and Health, University
Zollie M. Maynard, Consultant in Health, Physical Education, and
Recreation, State Department of Education
A. E. Beech, Teacher Physical Education, Gainesville
T. J. Bleier, Supervisor Health and Physical Education, Dade County,
H. E. Bonar, Teacher Physical Education, Turkey Creek
I. W. Brant, Teacher Physical Education, Jacksonville Beach
Cecil Cassady, Teacher Physical Education, Jasper
Guy Colado, Teacher Physical Education, Orlando
J. R. Deedrick, Teacher Physical Education, Winter Haven
D. A. Gordon, Teacher Physical Education, White Springs
Nash Higgins, Supervisor Health and Physical Education, Hills-
borough County, Tampa
P. A. Knuth, Teacher Physical Education, St. Petersburg
Ernest Priest, Supervisor Health and Physical Education, Escambia
Aaron Swain, Teacher Physical Education, Millen, Georgia
T. Q. Williams, Teacher Physical Education, Miami
Faculty and Administration, University of Florida
W. T. Arnett, Dean, College of Architecture and Allied Arts
Percy M. Beard. Associate Professor of Physical Education, Track
Coach and General Manager of Athletics
N. E. Choates, Assistant Professor of Architecture
Joseph M. Crevasse, Superintendent, Department of Plant and
S. N. Edson, Assistant Professor of Soils and Assistant Soil Purveyor
D. L. Emerson, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering and
Assistant Research Professor
W. C. Hackler, Assistant Research Professor, College of Engineering
E. C. Hendrickson, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering and Asso-
ciate Research Professor
Thomas Larrick, Professor of Architecture
Joseph M. Leps, Professor of School Administration
Gene C. Nutter, Assistant Agronomist and Turf Specialist, Agricul-
tural Experiment Station
T. E. Philpott, Assistant Professor of Physical Education
Conrad Rehling, Assistant Professor of Physical Education
W. L. Schock, Superintendent of Construction, Department of Plant
John D. Simonds, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
B. D. Spangler, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering
D. K. Stanley, Dean, College of Physical Education and Health
C. W. Strieby, Assistant Professor of Architecture (full-time)
George Thornton, Professor of Soils and Soil Microbiologist
P. M. Torraca, Professor of Architecture
J. V. Watkins, Associate Professor of Horticulture
D. B. Wilcox, Professor of Industrial Engineering and Research Pro-
J. A. Wilkes, Assistant Professor of Architecture
John W. Wilson, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering
W. H. Zimpfer, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering and Assist-
ant Research Professor
Staf Members, State Department of Education
A. R. Broadfoot, Assistant School Architect
James T. Campbell, Assistant Director, Division of Administration
J. K. Chapman, Deputy Superintendent
James L. Graham, Director, Division of Administration and Finance
Forrest M. Kelley, Jr., State School Architect
Charles Lowery, Assistant School Architect
Wilbur H. Marshall, General Consultant in Instruction
T. Q. Srygley, Director, Division of Instruction
T. George Walker, Director, Division of Publications and Textbook
State Board of Health
R. H. Baker, Sanitary Engineer, Division of Water Supply and
David B. Lee, Director, Bureau of Sanitary Engineering
John Miller, Chief, Division of Water Supply and Treatment
John Wakefield, Chief of Sewage and Industrial Waste Section
Architects and Lighting Specialists
Sanford Goin and Jack Moore, Goin and Moore Architects, Gainesville
W. R. Gomon, Griffin and Gomon, Architects, Daytona Beach
J. V. Shellhorse, Lighting Specialist, Florida Power and Light Com-
W. A. Stewart, Stewart and McVoy, Architects, Vero Beach
Edgar S. Wortman, Architect, Lake Worth
School leaders generally agree that the second half of the twen-
tieth century will see more school construction in Florida than any
other period in the history of the State. This prediction is based
on a number of factors. Among these are the rapid increase in
school population-owing to an ever increasing birth rate, migration
from other states, and the increased holding power of the school-
and the fact that little construction or repair of existing structures
was done during the depression of the thirties or the war years of
Purpose of the Bulletin
Despite the importance of physical education, little information
is available on the details of planning facilities for the program.
This bulletin has been prepared to serve as a guide for planning
these facilities. More specifically, the aims of the bulletin are to:
(1) set forth some general principles of schoolhouse planning which
will be helpful to local school authorities in providing adequate school
facilities and (2) to provide more specific guides for local school
officials, physical education teachers, architects, and engineers in
the planning and construction of facilities for physical education.
Plan of the Bulletin
Chapters Two and Three present some of the more pertinent prin-
ciples of schoolhouse planning. Chapter Two is a compilation of
recommended procedures for preliminary planning of school facilities.
The procedures suggested are those that have been recommended by
architects, engineers, school administrators and specialists in school-
house planning. They have proved successful in practice and are
presented here in the hope that they will provide a workable pro-
cedure for planning facilities that will adequately meet present and
future needs of those who use them.
Chapter Three is a compilation of guides and principles recom-
mended for the selection, planning, and development of school sites.
This information is presented because of its importance to the physi-
cal education program as well as to the total educational program.
Since a large percentage of the outdoor space of a school site serves
as classrooms for the physical education program, an undesirable
or inadequate site, a poorly developed site, or a site on which buildings
have been poorly placed, can greatly limit the type of program that
can be conducted.
Chapters Four, Five, Six, and Seven are concerned specifically
with physical education facilities. The materials in these chapters
are designed to serve as guides: (1) for the physical educator in
making recommendations to the architect; (2) for the architect in
his development of a design to provide functional facilities; and (3)
for the administrator in his efforts to integrate the physical educa-
tion facilities into the total facilities pattern imposed by bugetary
and policy considerations. Emphasis is placed upon the use to which
the facility is to be put and the characteristics of the facility which
should be considered in designing. Certain minimum and maximum
standards are suggested, where these were deemed necessary, but
emphasis is given to the characteristics of the various materials or
types of arrangements so that intelligent selection can be made to
fit the needs of the local situation
Need for Physical Education Facilities
Physical education has been recognized as a necessary part of
the public school program for only a relatively short time. There
was little need for such a program in the agrarian society of colonial
America, where considerable physical exertion was necessary for
existence, and where socialization was difficult because of distance
between homes and lack of leisure time. It was the change to a
mechanized society, with its accompanying urbanization, increase of
leisure time and decreased opportunity for physical activity which
created the necessity for providing instruction in the skills and
strategies of vigorous and complex games and sports.
The physical education program that meets the needs of the youth
of today must provide opportunity for vigorous, big-muscle activity
to help compensate for the lack of opportunity for muscular devel-
opment in our everyday life. It must provide opportunity for the
development of skill in and knowledge of highly complex games,
sports and dances for use in leisure time. And it must provide
opportunity for total development through socialization. A brief
review of the program will give some indication of the variety of
activities and the facilities needed to conduct the physical educa-
tion program at the various grade levels.
Elementary Physical Education Program
The elementary school physical education program comprehends
several distinct phases or types of activity. Since each phase makes
its special contribution to the total development of the child, facilities
should be provided for each. These are described in detail in Salt,
Fox, Douthett and Stevens*, but the brief description below will serve
to indicate the facilities needed.
E. B. Salt, Grace Fox, Elsie Douthett and B. K. Stevens, Teaching Physical
Education in the Elementary School, New York: A. S. Barnes & Company, 1942.
Directed play is an informal type of recreation designed to per-
mit children of the primary grades to participate in activities of
their own choice. The activities may range from unorganized play
on apparatus to activities as highly organized as team games. Appa-
ratus areas, large grassed areas, and hard-surfaced courts can be
used for this type of play.
Small Group Play
Small group play involves low-organization games that are best
played with five to eight players. Usually several games are played
at the same time. A large grassed area is needed and a hard-sur-
faced court is desirable for this phase of the program.
Large Group Play
Large group play involves games of low organization which
include participation by 12 to 35 players. A large grassed area is
needed and a hard-surfaced area is desirable.
Team Game Activities
These activities are the traditional athletic sports, together with
the modifications to fit particular age groups or the special needs of
the learner. Playing fields and hard-surfaced courts are needed.
This phase of the program involves the use of those games
an opportunity to move to music or rhythm. Interpretation of the
movements of animals, objects and people; dramatization of stories,
poems and songs; and participation in traditional forms of dance
are included. A large indoor area or a large hard-surfaced outdoor
area is necessary for this phase of the program.
Stunts, Pyramids and Apparatus Activities
These activities, which include tumbling, pyramid-building and
apparatus work, need an apparatus area with a cushioned surface
for out-of-doors and a floor with mats for indoor work.
This is the phase of the program in which the children are given
requiring little activity-games that can be used for parties, rainy
days and other recreational uses. The regular classroom or a play
room is needed for this phase of the program.
Secondary School Physical Education Program
State Department of Education Bulletin No. 5* divides the sec-
Florida State Dept. of Education, A Guide to Teaching Physical Education
in Secondary Schools, Bulletin No. 5. State Dept. of Education, Tallahassee,
Florida, 3rd Edition, 1948, pp. 36-108.
ondary program into five phases. These are briefly described below.
A more complete description can be found in Bulletin No. 5.
Regular Class Program
This program is for students whose health examination indicates
unrestricted participation. While the class program will vary from
school to school to meet local needs, a complete program will involve
the following types of activities: team games, individual and dual
sports, aquatics, rhythmic activities, recreational games, develop-
mental and conditioning activities, gymnastic and tumbling activities
and social recreational games. Facilities needed for this program
include a gymnasium and auxiliary teaching room for indoor play
and such outdoor areas as swimming pools, playing fields, hard-
surfaced courts, track and field facilities, and special areas.
Adapted and Corrective Program
This program has been designed to meet the needs of those
pupils who cannot participate in all of the activities of the regular
physical education program because of physical deviations. Many
of the activities of the regular class program can be used to meet
the needs of those in the adapted program. In cases where adequate
medical advice is available, facilities for special exercise may be
needed. These can be placed in the gymnasium, auxiliary teaching
room or play room.
Interscholastic Athletic Program
This is the phase of the total program of physical education
which provides the opportunity for boys and girls to compete with
those of similar ability from other schools in varsity or sports-day
type of competition. Team sports such as football, basketball, base-
ball, track, swimming, soccer, volleyball and softball, and such dual
and individual sports as archery, tennis, deck tennis, bowling and
badminton are frequently included in this phase. In addition to those
facilities listed for the regular class program, stadiums and baseball
diamonds are needed for this phase.
The intramural sports program provides opportunities for vol-
untary participation in those activities in which instruction has
been given in the regular class program. Intramurals are out-of-
class activities which involve organized competition, but the teams
represent divisions within the school rather than the school as a
whole. Facilities needed are the same as those for the class program.
Special Programs and Informal Use of Facilities
A broad program of physical education should include certain
special programs in addition to the class, intramural, and inter-
scholastic phases. The wide use of facilities and equipment outside
of class time, plus certain types of special programs, will serve to
broaden the pupils' experience. Clubs, clinics, pageants and dem-
onstrations are some of these. The facilities listed for the other
phases are sufficient for conducting those activities of this phase
that take place on the school grounds.
Facilities are important to the educational program in that they
can materially enhance or greatly limit it. When it is considered
that the average school building in Florida is used for fifty years, it
becomes evident that careful planning of facilities, even though
time-consuming, is most desirable.
Parties Involved in Planning
Schoolhouse planning involves a large number of people. While
the school board is legally charged with the responsibility for
providing schools, it merely represents the public, the real owners
of the school. As the representative of the owners, the board has,
in the planning stages, the tasks of determining the needs and
desires of the people; of ascertaining and complying with the regu-
lations that have been established by the State Department of Edu-
cation and the State Board of Health for the protection of the
public; of selecting architects and engineers who will design a plant
to meet the needs expressed by the people; and of supervising the
The Planning Process
The planning of a school plant is a complicated process that
takes time and cooperative effort. Fortunately, accumulation of
information by schoolhouse planners has provided a fairly definite
pattern for the planning process. The planning pattern will vary
from one school system to another, but the following should be
considered: determination of the educational program, development
of a master plan, selection of an architect, site selection, preliminary
architectural studies, cost estimates, and revision of preliminary
Determination of the Educational Program
One of the first considerations in the preliminary planning pro-
cess is the determination of the educational program to be offered.
This involves two aspects-the ascertainment of the outcomes de-
sired and the development of the program that will produce the
The ascertainment of outcomes is the joint responsibility of the
school and the people of the community. The school administration
should organize the community in such a manner that every element
in the community will be given a voice. This does not mean that
people of the community should tell professional school personnel
what should be in the curriculum. Rather, the responsibility of the
general public is to determine what kind of citizens the school
The development of the educational program to prepare the type
of individuals the community desires is the responsibility of pro-
fessional school personnel. It should involve all of the school per-
sonnel. While this program will necessarily be broad in scope to
permit each school to develop working methods to fit its own peculiar
needs, the best program cannot be obtained by permitting the
planning to be done entirely by those in supervisory positions.
Neither does the often-used practice of selecting key personnel from
the various subject matter areas to do the planning necessarily
provide the best program. All school personnel should participate
because, in addition to the contributions that teachers, custodians,
bus drivers and other school personnel can make, the value of
having all understand and give support to the program cannot be
Development of a Master Plan
School construction can be accomplished most economically when
a master plan for the system is developed. This plan should include:
1) an estimate of the school building needs which has been based
on a study of the community; 2) a declaration of administrative
policies; and 3) a long-range financial plan. In Florida, much of
this master plan is determined by a survey.
The 1947 School Law created what is known as the Minimum
Foundation Program, by which the State guarantees to each boy
and girl certain minimum educational opportunities. This law pro-
vided four hundred dollars per instruction unit for capital outlay,
but stipulated that before this money could be used, a survey of
needs must be made by the State Department of Education or a
group approved by that agency.
Survey teams visit the county, view the condition of existing
plants, study population trends and school policies, and make
recommendations for improvements in present facilities and for
construction of new ones. Their recommendations are mandatory
regarding classification of plants into permanent or temporary sites
but largely advisory concerning other recommendations. They sug-
gest general location for new sites; give broad estimates of the
cost (in terms of the facilities that seem desirable in keeping with
local school policies) ; and suggest priorities for construction.
Selection of an Architect
Practice varies somewhat in the use of architectural services
from one school system to another. Some of the more populous
Florida counties have found it desirable to employ a full-time school
architect to help in the development of long-range plans and to
supervise the work of architects selected to plan the various school
plants. Other county school boards have followed the practice of
retaining an architect for advice in the development of the county-
wide plans and of contracting with him for the actual designing
of each plant. Still others employ an architect only for the planning
of a school plant at the time a particular site is to be developed.
Planning authorities generally agree that architectural services are
desirable at every stage of planning.
Since the architect, employed to develop plans for a particular
site, not only will create the design but also should represent the
school board throughout the planning and construction phases, it
is important that care be exercised in his selection. The importance
of the architect is emphasized by the statement of Dr. Ray Hamon,
Chief of Schoolhouse Planning, U. S. Office of Education, that
"Good architects are worth more than they are usually paid and
poor ones are expensive if they work for nothing." Today's archi-
tect is usually the product of a five-year training program of an
institution of higher learning and has served a successful appren-
ticeship prior to being granted professional registration by the
State. But the degree of competence varies with individuals just
as it does in other professions.
A good architect welcomes investigation, and school authorities
should investigate before employing an architect. Past performance,
membership in professional organizations, and credit rating, as
well as interest and participation in community affairs, while not
necessarily requisites, are indicative of professional competence.
Another important consideration in preliminary planning is the
selection of an adequate and proper site for each school. Because
this is closely related to site development, it is discussed in Chapter
Preliminary Architectural and Engineering Studies
School officials, in the effort to provide facilities for the rapidly
growing communities of Florida, frequently do not provide sufficient
time for preliminary studies, which involve a study of the master
plan, a study of the school program, site investigation (which is
discussed in Chapter Three), and the preparation of preliminary
The architect's study of the master plan includes ascertaining
the recommendations of the survey report, the school board policies
and the scope of the financial plans. Among the facts to be deter-
mined are the expected enrollment, the possibilities of future in-
creases in enrollment, the grade level (s) to be served, the boundaries
of the area the school will serve (including the percentage of trans-
ported pupils), and the policies regarding community use.
Study of the school program includes the examination of any
material that has been prepared and meetings with groups of
professional school personnel to determine the types of facilities
needed to conduct the program. The architect will need to talk
with representatives of each area of the school program as well as
administrators, supervisors and maintenance personnel.
In making preliminary designs the architect will explore many
possibilities. He will, in many cases, need to talk again with the
representatives of the various areas of the school program and he
will need to meet frequently with county-wide personnel.
This is the stage of planning where changes can be made easily
and at no cost to the school. This is also the stage where care
in the selection of the architect pays off. The good architect will
explore many possibilities, will consult with school personnel many
When preliminary architectural and engineering studies have
been completed, cost estimates must be made. Frequently, items
are overlooked in doing this. This can result in unnecessary costs
to the school or the omission of needed facilities (to avoid the
unnecessary cost). When the cost estimate indicates that the plant
can be constructed for the amount of money available and, after
final drawings are made and bids advertised, it is found that all
bids are considerably higher than anticipated, the school board is
faced with the problem of paying for new drawings or omitting
some of the facilities needed. Accurate cost estimates indicate any
necessary revisions before final plans are drawn. One method of
minimizing inaccuracies is the use of a cost estimate check list.
Such a check list can be found in Pulver.*
Revision of Preliminary Designs
Some teachers and other school personnel, in their desire to
provide the best facilities for children, tend to encourage architects
to design elaborate facilities with expensive materials. This often
results in preliminary designs for a plant that cost estimates indi-
cate cannot be constructed within the limitations of the budget.
While this possibility can be minimized by constant consultation
with county-wide officials, who are in a better position than local
school personnel to know the financial problems, necessary compro-
mises and changes can be made at little cost if done before final
plans are drawn. Revisions of the preliminary designs should be
made in consultation with local and county school personnel.
H. E. Pulver, Construction Estimates and Costs, New York: McGraw-Hill
Book Company, 1940.
The Role of the Physical Education Teacher
The physical education teacher has the same responsibilities for
helping to plan the facilities for his area that teachers of other
areas have for theirs. These might be identified as: ascertaining
community goals and needs; developing the program; and providing
information to the architect.
Ascertaining Community Goals and Needs
The first function of the physical education teacher is to deter-
mine what the community expects from its physical education pro-
In many cases the physical education teacher will need to provide
leadership for the community in determining its goals and will need
to explain to the community what is necessary in the way of staff,
facilities and equipment, to develop the type of individual the com-
Developing the Program
The next function of the physical education teacher is to develop
a program that will help accomplish the desired outcomes. Since
this will involve out-of-school as well as during-school activities,
the physical education teacher will need to coordinate his program
with that of other agencies providing out-of-school activities. A
committee of representatives of various agencies has been found
to be effective in developing the physical education program. Per-
sonnel from other areas of the school which conduct out-of-school
activities, municipal recreation authorities, industrial recreation per-
sonnel, school pupils and parents should all be represented on this
Providing Information for the Architect
The third responsibility of the physical education teacher is to
provide the architect with the information he needs. This involves
not only informing him what facilities are needed but also providing
him with such information as who is going to use the facility, how
many are going to use it at peak load, what kinds of activities are
going to be conducted on or in it and, finally, what are the char-
acteristics or specifications of each aspect of the facility.
The remaining chapters of this bulletin provide some guides,
including details in some instances, that should help the physical
education teacher in providing the architect with the information
necessary to design facilities that will meet the needs of the program.
SITE SELECTION AND DEVELOPMENT
More changes have taken place in American society in the twen-
tieth century than in the preceding three hundred years. Many of
these changes have served to change the emphasis in the selection
and development of school sites.
Many of the factors which make school sites desirable or unde-
sirable are difficult to predict and many of them cannot be controlled
by the school board. Yet, schools must be planned to serve their
areas for many years. Consequently, school boards should secure
the best possible advice in the determination of possible population
shifts and the cooperation of all official agencies concerned with
zoning regulation in the selection of sites. Location, size and costs,
as well as topographical and soil conditions, must all be considered
in the selection of a school site.
Schools should be so located that they will serve residential areas
without children having to cross thoroughfares, highways or rail-
roads to reach them. They should be located in areas where zoning
laws do not permit factories, incinerators and other disturbing ele-
ments. And they should be located convenient to utility facilities and
Authorities on schoolhouse planning have recommended that in
urban areas elementary schools be located to serve the immediate
neighborhood, junior high schools be located to serve two or more
of these community groups and senior high schools be planned to
serve a group of neighborhoods. These authorities have varied some-
what in their recommendations as to distances children should be
expected to walk. In general they have suggested a maximum of
12 to % of a mile for elementary children, 1 to 11/2 miles for junior
high pupils and 1/ to 2 miles for senior high pupils. Little infor-
mation is available on the location of rural schools.
Enrollment, type of program, grade levels served and total com-
munity plan, all influence the size of the area needed for a school
site. In general, the trend is toward larger sites, but more study
needs to be given to determine the most effective size. Certainly,
with the realization that very small schools are uneconomical to
operate, with the broadening of the modern educational program
and with the trend toward the use of the school plant as a community
center, the minimum sizes listed by the Florida School Laws are
no longer sufficient. A minimum of 10, 15 and 30 acres respectively
for elementary, junior high and senior high schools is more realistic
and many authorities suggest even larger minimum acreage.
The economic principle that prices tend to rise as demand in-
creases operates with land as well as other commodities. This often
presents a problem in the purchase of property for a school site.
Two procedures may be helpful in lessening this problem.
If long-range plans are made for community planning, saving
can be effected by purchasing sites in undeveloped areas for future
use. The practice used by some Florida counties, of instituting
friendly condemnation suits on the owners of all lands to be pur-
chased, is also helpful in keeping down the cost of school sites in
that it prevents the landowner from raising the price above a rea-
sonable figure. It also tends to eliminate any claims that there has
been collusion between school authorities and landowners.
Topographical and Soil Conditions
Considerable unnecessary expense can be incurred in the devel-
opment of a site when the soil and sub-surface conditions are not
considered in the selection of the site. Low, poorly-drained areas,
land where no sound footing for building foundations is present
near the surface, soils in areas where city sewer facilities are not
available and septic tanks will not operate effectively, may all con-
tribute to increased costs of development.
It is good practice to observe the land in both wet and dry
weather, and to also have an engineer do some site investigation
to determine sub-surface conditions before purchase of a school site.
In areas where septic tanks are to be used, the health department
should be consulted for necessary studies.
Selection of sites for schools frequently is the cause for much
emotional feeling. One method that has been found helpful by some
school systems in the resolution of site location controversies is the
use of a site score form. By taking the various factors which need
to be considered and giving each a numerical value (based on any
convenient number-such as 100 points), a school system can apply
the scoring system to the various plots available and let the score
determine the most desirable one. One such form* allots 40 points
for physical characteristics, 25 for environment, 20 for accessibility,
and 15 for availability of utility services. It should be recognized
that score forms are not panaceas for all the difficulties encountered
in the selection of sites and that score forms that are valuable aids
in some communities may not be helpful in others. For example,
"School Site Score Form", Connecticut State Department of Education, 1950.
if sufficient funds are available, such factors as poor physical char-
acteristics and availability of utility services can be overcome. On
the other hand, poor location will remain an inconvenience.
Recognition in recent years of the importance of pleasing sur-
roundings in which to work and emphasis upon functional design
have brought about a revolution in schoolhouse planning. Today,
it is possible to have a school site that is both beautiful and func-
tional. This is most effectively accomplished when plans for the
total site rather than the buildings alone are included in the original
Architects and engineers should be employed to plan all aspects
of the plant even when funds are insufficient to finance the total
development. This will provide for future development that is com-
patible with existing buildings and plantings and serve as a guide
for civic groups desiring to contribute to the school. The plan
should include the buildings, driveways, parking areas, play areas,
gardens and other outdoor areas needed to conduct the program
planned. They should also include specifications for beautification
of the site.
The location and orientation of buildings should be carefully
considered. Buildings located too close to a street involve safety
hazards and permit interrupting noises. Buildings located too far
from the street cause undue planting and grounds maintenance.
Buildings located so as to make accessibility from the street diffi-
cult present traffic hazards on the grounds. Buildings located and
oriented so that glare from glossy surfaces such as concrete parking
areas, walls of adjacent structures, and roofs of buildings, can cause
undue eye strain. Buildings depending upon natural lighting for
their day-time illumination must be oriented to permit the greatest
amount of light. Those employing natural ventilation must be ori-
ented in relation to prevailing winds. Heavy structures should be
located in relation to sub-surface conditions. Buildings that require
constant servicing should be grouped together.
Driveways and service entrances should be located so as not to
cross walkways or play areas nor reflect glare into classrooms. They
should be sufficiently wide to permit the flow of traffic and be con-
structed of material easy to maintain.
Parking areas should be located near the building and near such
points of spectator concentrations as gymnasiums, auditoriums and
stadiums. They should be easily accessible from streets and so placed
that car tops and windshields do not serve as glare reflectors into
Walkways should be locate as to provide safe passage for chil-
dren from the streets to the site and from one area of the site to
another. Covered walkways are desirable between buildings.
Marginal areas should be utilized for such facilities as stadiums,
tennis courts, picnic grounds and agricultural plots.
Areas near buildings should be planned for activities that pro-
duce relatively little noise. Outdoor classrooms, outdoor theatres,
and areas for small children can be placed at these points.
Utility lines should be placed so as to be easily accessible. It
should not be necessary to excavate a well-surfaced play area to
reach a sewer, water or electric line. Utility poles on or near play
areas should be so placed that they will not interfere with play or
present safety hazards.
Areas near bodies of water should be made as safe as possible.
Fencing of dangerous areas, clearing of marshes, construction of
docks (where water sports are to be conducted) and other improve-
ments as indicated by conditions and possible use of the area, should
Landscaping and Planting
As has been stated, specifications for landscaping and plantings
should be included in the architect's drawings and, whenever pos-
sible, should be a part of the original site development. Where funds
are not available for complete development at the time buildings
are constructed, the specifications will serve to ensure that future
plantings are in harmony with the total plant.
In some Florida communities, funds have not been available for
development of the grounds and outdoor areas and, consequently,
many school sites need improvement in this respect. Parent-Teacher
Associations and other civic groups are often willing to contribute
money, plants and labor for the beautification of the school site.
The following information on soils, grasses and ornamentals is pre-
sented as a guide for these situations:
The soils must be studied and needs determined if successful
growing of plants and grasses is to be achieved. The County Agri-
culture Agent will assist in obtaining a soil test to determine the
potentiality and productive possibilities of the area. Color, as the
following list shows, gives some indication of its fertility:
1. White-very poor
2. Yellow-Moderately drained; moderate fertility
3. Red-has potential fertility
4. Brown-most productive
5. Dark-most fertile; usually wet and needs drainage
Stabilization of the soil can be accomplished by adding clay and
mulch or peat, preferably peat, to sand. It is recommended that
sandy areas should have 25% to 30% peat and 10% to 15% clay
cut into the soil for best growing results. Peat provides water
holding capacity which Florida soils lack, and clay serves in con-
serving food as well as water. Another way to add needed organic
matter to the soil is to plant hairy indigo or other suitable crops
for several seasons, plowing it under annually before establishing
All soils in Florida are low in some of the natural plant foods
and must be fertilized and watered at regular intervals for best
results with turf grasses.
Grass is an important consideration in landscaping. The estab-
lishment of a well-sodded lawn not only contributes to the appearance
of the school plant, but also is important from other aspects. A
good lawn adjacent to the school makes a contribution to the cutting
of maintenance costs by reducing the amount of sand and dirt car-
ried into hallways and classrooms on shoes. It also prevents washing
or eroding of the soil, and masks surface glare and heat that might
reflect into the classroom from clay or bright sandy areas.
The following chart, prepared by Dr. Gene C. Nutter, a specialist
in lawn and turf grasses, gives the factors that should be considered
in selecting grasses and shows the relationship of the various grasses
to these factors.
CHART SHOWING COMPARISON OF LAWN GRASSES FOR FLORIDA
Gene C. Nutter
Assistant Agronomist, Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Florida
0 ~ I 1 t ^
Improved' Serious Not Very
Bermuda High Army & Serious Finest Green2 Poor Fair Good 1" Rapid Vegetative
St. Au- Serious Serious Very Moderately
gustine Mod. Chinch Bug at times Coarse Green2 Good Good Poor 2" Rapid Vegetative
Zoysia Not None Med. Very
matrella Mod. Serious Major Fine Green2 Good Good Good 1" Very slow Vegetative
Not None Inter- Seed or
Centipede Low Serious Major mediate Brown Poor Poor Poor 1 Moderate Vegetative
Not None Inter- Seed or
Carpet Low Serious Major Coarse Brown Fair Poor mediate 2" Moderate Vegetative
Pensacola Not None Mod. Seed or
Bahia Low Serious Major Coarse Green Fair Poor Good 2" Rapid Vegetative
1. Improved Bermuda varieties include Everglades No. 1, Ormond, Tifton 57 and Bayshore (seed is not
2. Under proper management, these grasses can be maintained green during most of the year.
3. Most of these grasses will grow fairly well under a high canopy of shade as under pine trees.
Above ratings refer to dense shade such as under oak trees.
A complete application of fertilizer should be applied to lawns
in February or March, and a nitrogen dressing should be applied
in June and again in August. If green grass during the winter is
desired, another nitrogen dressing should be applied in October or
November. Watering of lawns should be done every 7 to 10 days
during periods of drought. This should be a deep soaking.
Trees, shrubs and vines, in addition to improving the appearance
of school sites, provide a more pleasant environment in which to
live and serve such utilitarian purposes as providing shade and con-
trolling erosion. The charts on the following pages list some of the
ornamentals that can be used successfully on Florida school sites
and show their relationship to certain facts which should be con-
sidered in selection and planning.
In reading charts the observations listed should be noted:
(1) For purposes of explaining the "climate" in which the plants
will grow, the State was divided arbitrarily by a line drawn east-
ward across the State from the Tampa area; hence north of the
Tampa area is designated "North Florida" and south of the Tampa
area is "South Florida." Some of the plants will grow best in a
central area. The Agricultural Experiment Station of the University
of Florida can supply more detailed information if desired.
(2) Where no stipulation has been placed in the appropriate
spaces, the information is not conclusive or significant enough to
warrant listing on the chart.
Shade Botanical Growth Time of Life
Name Cost Quality Type Rate Climate Flowering Span Soil Height
Royal Palm High Moderate Evergreen Slow South Fla. Spring Good Moist 80' -100'
Cabbage Palm High Poor Evergreen Slow Entire State Spring Good Moist 80'
Live Oak None Excellent Evergreen Moderate Entire State Good Moist 40' 50'
Yellow Poplar None Good Deciduous Moderate North Fla. Moist 100'
S. Magnolia None Moderate Evergreen Moderate North Fla. Early Summer Moist 60' 80'
E. Redbud Small Moderate Deciduous Rapid North Fla. Late Winter 30'
Bay Cedar None Good Evergreen Moderate (Salt Shores) 15'
Amer. Holly Small Fair Evergreen Moderate North Fla. (Fruit in Fall) Moist 50'
Yaupon None Poor Evergreen Moderate North Fla. Spring 25'
Fla. Maple None Good Deciduous Rapid North Fla. Spring Moist 50' 60'
Red Maple None Good Deciduous Rapid Entire State Spring Moist 80' -90'
Dogwood None Fair Deciduous Moderate North Fla. Spring Well Drained 50'
Sea Hibiscus Small Fair Evergreen Moderate South Fla. All Year Muddy 15'
Fringe None Good Deciduous Moderate North Fla. Spring 25'
Citrus Small Good Evergreen Moderate Entire State Spring Well Drained 10' 25'
Brazil Pepper Medium Poor Evergreen Rapid South Fla. Red Fruit Well Drained 40'
Mimosa None Fair Deciduous Rapid South Fla. Late Spring 25'
India Rubber Medium Good Evergreen Moderate South Fla. Well Drained 100'
Slash Pine None Fair Evergreen Rapid North Fla. 90'
Loblolly Pine None Fair Evergreen Slow North Fla. Well Drained 100'
S. Pine None Good Evergreen Slow North Fla. Well Drained 120'
Mainte- Effective Blooming Shade-Sun Salt
Name Cost nance Climate Height Period Color Location Tolerance Soil
Abelia Low Medium North Fla. 3' 6' Summer White Sun No Moist
Ixora Medium High South Fla. 4' 6' Summer Red Sun Moderate Dry
Ligustrum Medium Medium Entire State 6' + Spring White Either Moderate Dry
Cherry Laurel Low Medium North Fla. 6' + Spring White Sun No Moist
Yaupon None Low North Fla. to any Spring Red Berries
height in Fall
Turks Cap Low Low South Fla. 6' All Year Red Sun No Dry
Yew Medium Medium South Fla. 4' 6' Sun
Florida Boxwood Medium Low South Fla.
Box Briar Medium Medium South Fla. 2' 4'
Azalea High Medium North Fla. 4' Spring Various Shade Acid
Oleander Low Medium South Fla. 6' + Summer Various Sun Good Dry
Jasmine (Orange) High Medium South Fla. 6' + Summer White Sun No Dry
Spring & White or
Jasmine Low Low Entire State 4' 6' Summer Yellow Sun No Dry
Pyracantha High Medium North Fla. 6' + Spring White Sun Moderate Moist
Hibiscus Medium Low South Fla. 6' + All Year Various Sun No Moist
Hydrangea Medium Low North Fla. 4' -6' Spring Blue Shade Moist
Nandina Medium Medium North Fla. 4' 6' Summer White Sun Dry
Viburnum High Medium North Fla. 6' Spring White Sun Moderate Moist
Most of these can be used either as a hedge or as an upright.
Method of Botanical Rate of Shade-Sun
Name Propagation Climate Maintenance Type Growth Flowering Location
Flame Vine Cuttings South Fla. Low Evergreen Vigorous Early Summer Both
Bougainvillea Cuttings South Fla. Low Evergreen Moderate Most of Year Semishade
Spring and Sun and
Trumpet Creeper Cuttings Entire State Low Evergreen Summer Semishade
Painted Trumpet Cuttings Entire State Low Decidious first, then April May Sun and
(Very Vigorous) vigorous Light Purple Semishade
Rubber Vine Cuttings Low Evergreen Vigorous Light Purple, Sun and
Carolina Yellow Seeds or Early Spring
Jessamine Cuttings Entire State Low Evergreen Rapid Yellow Both
English Ivy Cuttings Shady Location Low Evergreen Moderate None Shade
Most of Year Sun and
Cape Honeysuckle Cuttings South Fla. Low Evergreen Rapid Orange Red Semishade
Spring Sun and
Chinese Wisteria Layerings North Fla. Low Decidious Vigorous Blue Violet Semishade
Low-Cut Most of Year
Coral Vine Seeds, Roots Entire State back in Decidious Vigorous Free Flowering, Sun and
or Cuttings Winter Pink Semishade
Scarlet Kadsura Cuttings Entire State Low Evergreen Moderate Spring
SHOWER AND DRESSING FACILITIES
A desirable secondary school physical education program cannot
be conducted where facilities for changing clothes and taking showers
after activity are not available. Playing in street clothes is not
conducive to good play, successful accomplishment in other school
activities, or the formation of good living practices.
The provision of shower and dressing facilities is necessary,
therefore, for any secondary school that includes physical education
as a part of its curriculum. Where the program is offered for both
boys and girls, units for each must be provided.
Ideally, these facilities should be designed as an integral part
of the gymnasium. However, some Florida schools are unable to
finance complete gymnasiums. In these cases, it is recommended that
the shower and locker rooms be so designed that the playing floor
and auxiliary features can be added later.
It is very difficult to increase the size of these facilities once
they have been constructed. Consequently, adequate space should
be allotted in the planning to serve any anticipated increase in
This chapter includes information for the planning of shower
rooms and locker rooms together with those areas most closely asso-
ciated with these facilities. These latter are instructors' offices and
dressing rooms, conference rooms, toilet rooms, equipment storage
rooms, storage rooms for maintenance, dressing rooms for athletic
teams, and special areas.
A description of drying (toweling) rooms is omitted because
these are desirable only when an attendant is provided to distribute
towels, and no Florida schools are providing such a service. Shower
and dressing facilities for elementary schools are not included be-
cause the practice in Florida of having the physical education pro-
gram taught by the classroom teacher makes it very difficult to
provide supervision of these areas. These facilities can be dangerous
even in the secondary school if pupils are not properly instructed in
their use or are not carefully supervised. It is recommended that
elementary schools be equipped with a shower or shower-tub com-
bination, so that any child who needs a bath will have the oppor-
tunity for one. This could be satisfactorily located in the health unit
of the administrative suite.
If pupils are to develop favorable attitudes toward play, a wll-
ventilated, temperature-controlled dressing room with adequate space
for changing clothes, storing of play clothes when not in use and
oi~oing_ of street clothes during play is necessary.
Ideally, locker rooms should be located adjacent to and on the
same level withJ-he areas they_ serve They sho-uld be immediately
adjacent to shower rooms and should provide direct communication
witr-in-door--andoutdoor play areas. They shouibldbTTonnected to
classifoom ii-bildings by covered walkways.
Two or more solid doors (or doors with high glass panels) should
be provided for the most effective flow of traffic. One of these
should be so placed that shower and dressing facilities can be entered
without the necessity of passing through the playing area of the
The sizeof the ocker--r'om--wil varywith the type oflocker
system usedthe size of the peak load to be accommodated, and the
type_of groups to be served.
Peak load can be determined by dividing the total school enroll-
ment by two (to get the approximate number of each sex) and then
Sdiividing this figure by the number of class periods.' Sufficient allow-
; ance for after-school use of the facility will be provided by the addi-
tion of ten per cent to this figure.
Locker systems are discussed below, but for purposes of deter-
mining the size of the locker room, a 12" x 18" floor space should
be allotted for each two individual lockers (half length) and a 12"
x 12" floor space allotted for each six baskets (where baskets are
If the room is to be used as a dressing room for interscholastic
football, an additional 24" x 24" space should be allowed for a, storage
locker for each team member. (In large schools it is usually desir-
able to have separate dressing rooms for interscholastic teams).
In determining the size of a locker room then, floor space should
be provided as follows:_l) _a dressing space of 12 to 14 square.feet
for each pupil during the peak load (largest class plus 10 per cent);
2) a space of ~2"a x 18" for each individual lockers; 3) a space
12-2"-r i2"for each 6 baskets (where used); 4) a space 24" x 24"
for each football locker (if team uses the room).
The arrangement of locker rooms should be such that travel to
and from lockers, toilets and showers is reduced to a minimum,
cross traffic is eliminated, hygienic conditions can be maintained, and
supervision is simplified. While the design will depend, to some
extent, upon the service system employed, it should provide for wet
and dry corridors as illustrated below. This arrangement mini-
mizes the possibility of dirt and sand in the corridor leading from
showers and lockers.
I WET CORRIDOR
SCHEMATIC LAYOUT OF LOCKER
ROOM USING DRY 8 WET CORRIDORS
There are a number of systems used to provide for storage of
street clothes and physical education costumes. Most are variations
of the three given in the chart below. The chart lists these systems
together with information concerning factors that should be con-
sidered in determining the best system for a particular situation.
Original Space (Drying and Traffic Maintenance
Types of Systems Cost Needed Folding of Control Security (Including
(Each pupil has own High Large Good Good Good Low
(Pupil secures basket
with his gym clothes
from rack and uses Medium Medium Fair Fair Fair Low
vacant locker for
(Pupil secures basket (Waiting line
from attendant and Low Small Poor causes con- Very High
uses a vacant locker gestion and Good
for street clothes), loss of time)
Locker room floors should be constructed of impervious, wear-
resistant material with a non-skid finish and should be designed
for ease in drying and cleaning. Vitreous tile (with an abrasive
added) or scarified quarry tile are the best materials. Concrete,
even with the best quality of deck enamel, will require frequent
painting to keep impervious, and at best will absorb some moisture
(which fosters the growth of fungi).
Proper drainage will greatly facilitate drying and cleaning.
Valley construction with two or more drains (depending upon the
size of the room) or gutter construction with one gutter lengthwise
or two crosswise are both feasible. Drains should be located near
the walls rather than in the center of the room. A 1/4" per foot
slope of the floor is sufficient for adequate run-off of water. Proper
drainage and rounding of all corners permits cleaning by scrubbing
A hard, smooth, impervious material should be used for walls
to facilitate cleaning and resist moisture. Tile block or glazed wall
tile are most desirable. If concrete is used, protective coating known
to be impervious to water, with at least the first coat being brushed
on, should be applied and provisions made for repainting at regular
intervals. Colors should be light to provide a balance of brightness
and to facilitate sanitation.
Both natural and artificial illumination should be provided for
locker rooms. In providing natural light, windows or louvers should
be designed to give a maximum of ventilation and privacy as well
Approximately one to one-and-one-half watts per square foot of
artificial light should be provided. It is necessary for the engineer
to know the arrangement of lockers before designing the electrical
systems in order to ensure proper illumination over corridors and
Lighting fixtures should be moisture resistant. RLM porcelain
enamel reflectors are desirable.
Heating and Ventilation
The problems of drying physical education costumes and of pro-
viding proper atmospheric conditions for dressing after showers
make heating and ventilation of locker rooms very important con-
Forced ventilation is desirable. Ducts placed over lockers and/or
baskets are most effective. However, exhaust fans without ducts
can be used effectively. These should be placed so moisture from the
showers will not be pulled into the locker room. If a "basket cage"
is used, fans should be placed to exhaust air from the locker room
through the "cage."
Where natural ventilation is used, cross-ventilation should be
provided and the building oriented to take advantage of prevailing
winds. Locker rooms should be kept at a temperature of 700 to 74.
Lockers, benches, racks or cages for baskets (when used), mir-
rors, electrical outlets (in girls' locker rooms for hair dryers), and
spigots for water hoses should be installed in locker rooms.
Lockers should provide sufficient space, adequate security and
proper ventilation for street clothes and physical education costumes
(where the individual service is used.) Full-length or half-length
12" x 15" to 24" have been found sufficient. Steel provides the best
security, though heavy wire has been used successfully. Ventilation
can be achieved by locating vents in the front and using wire mesh
at the back of the lockers if a 2" x 4" space is left between lockers
at the back.
A variety of lockers is manufactured. Manufacturers' representa-
tives should be consulted for sizes and types to fit local conditions.
Those requiring padlocks are preferable to those with built-in locks.
Lockers should be placed on a solid base 6" to 8" high with
rounded corners (to prevent injury) and sloped surfaces where it
joins the floor to permit (flushing of floor).
Benches should be located convenient to the dressing lockers.
They should be 16" high, have a hardwood seat 8" wide with rounded
edges and corners, and be secured to the floor.
Baskets can be purchased from numerous manufacturers. Sizes
vary considerably, but the inside dimensions should be sufficient to
store shoes, shorts, T-shirts, towel and sweat shirt. A minimum
length of 12", with a width of 9" to 12", and a height of 9" to 12",
Racks (where the self-service system is used) should be pur-
chased that are made for the baskets to insure proper security.
Baskets must fit into racks in such a way that clothes cannot be
lifted from the baskets when they are locked into place. Racks can
be placed in the same platforms with the lockers or they can be
located on separate platforms. One effective arrangement is a row
of 10 or 12 lockers with a rack (5 or 6 baskets high) at each end
of the row.
Cages (where the attendant system is used) should be sufficiently
large to store baskets and provide working space for the attendant.
They should be so constructed as to permit as much ventilation as
possible, provide security for clothing and permit rapid service to
pupils. While security is the only one of these specifications that
can be effectively met, heavy gauge wire wall and exhaust fans
will aid in ventilation, and arrangement of baskets by classes, to-
gether with the use of several attendants (with two or more win-
dows), will help in the provision of rapid service.
Mirrors should be provided in both boys' and girls' locker rooms.
At least one full-length mirror should be provided for the girls'
locker room. The number of mirrors will depend upon the size and
the number who use them. In general, sufficient mirror space should
be provided to serve one-tenth of the peak load at once. These should
be located so they will not serve as a traffic "bottle neck."
Electrical outlets should be provided in the girls' locker room
~or portable hair dryers for use by those girls who need to wash
their hair at school. One or two outlets are sufficient. Each should
be on a separate circuit with provision for grounding.
Spigots for the attachment of water hoses should be provided
to facilitate the cleaning of locker rooms. One spigot should be pro-
vided at each end of large locker rooms.
All pupils should be provided an opportunity to take showers
following participation in physical education classes or after-school
activities. The shower rooms should be so designed that the after-
activity shower is a pleasant experience rather than a required chore.
The size of the shower rooms should be determined by the largest
number to be served at any given time. This peak load is determined
in the same manner as the peak load for locker rooms (see section
on Size of Locker Rooms). From this figure the number of shower
heads needed can be determined. The State Board of Health regu-
lations* require one shower head for each five boys and one shower
head for each four girls. To avoid loss of teaching time or the
necessity for rushing pupils through the shower, it may be desirable
to provide shower heads in the ratio of one for each four boys and
one for each three girls.
Shower heads should be spaced 3'4" apart, and 15 square feet
of use space should be provided for each head.
Florida State Sanitary Code, Jacksonville: State Board of Health, Chapter
XXIV, "School Sanitation."
The shower room should be connected to the dressing room, team
rooms and toilet rooms, and should be readily accessible to the swim-
ming area. For large programs it may be desirable to have either
one shower and two locker and dressing rooms or one large dressing
room with two shower rooms per sex.
The shower room should be on the same level as the dressing
room, but so arranged that water will not run into the dressing areas.
The shower rooms should have two doorways, one serving as an
entrance from the dressing rooms (dry corridor), the other serving
as an exit to the dressing room (wet corridor). Partial walls
separating shower and locker rooms are not desirable, because they
permit moisture (steam) from shower rooms to enter the locker
Types of Shower Systems and Controls
The present extensive use of bathing facilities has created a defi-
nite need for gang showers for both boys and girls. Some advantages
of this type of shower are: less floor area needed, low initial cost,
low maintenance and effective supervision. In designing showers for
the girls, it is advisable to have enough gang showers to accom-
modate two-thirds the number of pupils in the class period of
largest enrollment. The booth type of showers comprising the
remaining one-third may be planned so that some of the dressing
booths will accommodate two or three girls, but also that separate
shower heads (with partitions between) will be available.
For flexibility of arrangement it is desirable to use curtains for
front and sides of shower booths.
It is recommended that the individually controlled shower with
the central cut-off be used in most situations, since this permits the
bather to control the flow and temperature of the water. The "walk-
through" type is sometimes desirable. This type of shower arrange-
ment permits the instructor to determine the length of the shower
period and the flow and the temperature of the water, by operating
the master control valve. There are no individual controls on the
showers of the "walk-through" type, but some shower heads with
individual controls should be provided in this type of shower room
for after-school use. Such showers should be cut off at the central
control during the time the "walk-through" showers are being used.
Types of Showers
While there are other types of showers, the wall type is generally
considered the most desirable for both boys and girls. The "prison"
type shower head with an adjustable spray is more desirable than
the "ball and socket" type. The height of the shower heads for
senior high school should range from 4'6" to 5'6" and for junior
high school from 4'6" to 5'. A staggered arrangement of these various
heights is probably the most desirable arrangement.
Liquid soap dispensers of non-breakable material should be placed
between every two showers at control height.
All plumbing should be recessed in the walls except for heads
and valves. Where it is necessary to use exposed fittings and pipes,
they should be well secured and close to the wall.
Floors and Walls
Floors should be sloped 3/8" to 1" from the center crown in order
that water may readily run into the drains and should be built of
non-slip impervious material. Vitreous tile is most desirable; how-
ever, quarry tile, when scarified so as to be non-skid, is also a very
satisfactory floor material. Where concrete is used, it should have
a broom or pea gravel finish or should contain carborundum. Con-
crete floors are more difficult to clean and disinfect properly.
The walls should be of an impervious, non-abrasive material.
Glazed wall tile or block is most desirable. If brick or concrete block
is used, it should be carefully sealed and waterproofed with several
coats of a protective covering.
Lighting and Ventilation
Vapor-proof lighting fixtures, controlled by vapor-proof switches
and providing light comparable to that in the dressing room, should
be installed. At least two lamps should be provided. There should
be controlled ventilation for rapid removal of excess heat and mois-
ture (vapor). Provisions should be made for the control of temper-
ature so that approximately 720 degrees can be maintained.
Toilet rooms should be provided in the shower and dressing
suite. These should be separate from those provided in the gym-
nasium for public use.
The toilet rooms should be on the same level as the locker rooms
and be so located that it is not necessary for pupils to pass through
the toilet rooms enroute to locker rooms or through shower rooms
enroute to toilet rooms.
Floor and Walls
Specifications for toilet room floors and walls are the same as
those for locker rooms.
The following ratios should be used in determining the number
of toilets and urinals for boys: one toilet for every 50 boys (mini-
mum of 2) and one urinal for every 25 boys (minimum of 2). The
number of toilets for girls should be based on the ratio of one toilet
for every 30 girls (minimum of 3). Urinals for girls are now being
manufactured. When these are used in girls' toilet rooms, the ratio
of fixtures to girls should be the same as for boys. The ratio of
lavatories to pupils (either boys or girls) should be one for every
20 (minimum of 2).
These standards are more liberal than those for other toilet
rooms in the school because of the intensive use in the limited time
available before and after class activity.
Lavatories should be of vitreous china. They should be of the
control-spring-faucet type. The faucets and operating controls should
be of non-corrosive and non-breakable material. The operating con-
trols should be tamper-proof. Provision should be made for both
hot and cold water through a common outlet or for water auto-
matically mixed to the desired temperature. Liquid or powdered
soap dispensers of the non-corrosive and non-breakable type should
be located directly above the lavatory.
Urinals for boys should be of impervious material, preferably
vitreous china and preferably of the stall-type with integral lip. The
base of the urinal should be flush or slightly below the floor level,
and the floor should be pitched to drain toward the urinals. Wall
type urinals are preferred for girls and may also be used for boys'
toilet rooms. The trough type is undesirable.
Flushing may be controlled by hand, foot or automatic controls.
The urinals should be located along the wall opposite the lavatories
and, if possible, opposite the windows in order that maximum privacy
may be secured.
Toilets should be of vitreous china. The seat should be of imper-
vious material and have an open front. The bowls should be of the
elongated or extended lip, siphon jet type. They should be equipped
with flush valves of non-automatic concealed type. The height of
the bowl from the floor to the rim should be 13". The wall mounted
toilet is highly recommended since it insures ease of maintenance
and is more sanitary.
Stall partitions should be of mark-proof, non-corrosive and dur-
able material. There should be no cross piece or fixtures from which
people may swing.
Starting 12" above the floor, the stalls should extend to a total
height of 5' or 5'6". Doors should be of similar height. Gravity
hinges are recommended. Doors should swing into compartments
and stand open when vacant. Coat hooks and racks for toilet paper
should be installed in the stalls.
Ventilation and Lighting
Mechanical means will be necessary to provide adequate venti-
lation in most situations. It should be designed to fit the specific
needs of the area. Moisture-proof, non-corrosive lighting fixtures
that will provide illumination comparable to that in the locker rooms
should be installed.
Storage Rooms for Equipment
Adequate and effectively planned storage space is necessary for
the preservation of physical education and athletic equipment. Ath-
letic uniforms, leather balls and other equipment of this type deter-
iorate rapidly if not properly stored.
Current Storage Room
Much economy can be effected by providing proper and adequate
storage for equipment in current use. Such storage rooms should be
located near the office and locker room of each sex, or it may be
desirAble to provide one room that will serve both boys and girls.
It should have a check-out window (or half-door) for dispensing
The room should be large enough to provide working space for
attendant and storage space for all equipment currently in use. A
space of 80 to 100 square feet should be adequate for most schools.
Proper preservation of the equipment makes forced ventilation
desirable. If natural ventilation is used, vents should be placed at
the bottom of one wall and at the top of the opposite wall.
Sufficient light should be provided to permit handling of equip-
ment, and adequate bins, racks and shelves should also be installed.
Storage Room for Equipment Not in Current Use
Some equipment is used only during a limited season and must
be stored for long periods. A room for storing such equipment can
be used by both boys and girls; however, separate storage rooms
sometimes may be more desirable. The most important character-
istics of this room are that it be large enough to store all of the
equipment used in the program, be well ventilated and well secured.
Space should be provided for the storage of such football equip-
ment as helmets, shoulder pads, shoes, pants, jerseys and balls;
such track equipment as vaulting poles, jumping standards, hurdles
and starting blocks; and such baseball equipment as bats, balls,
bases, and catchers' equipment.
The use of forced ventilation in this room is even more desirable
than in the room used to store currently used equipment; and every
effort should be made to secure its installation.
In order that physical education, athletic and recreation pro-
grams be properly administered, adequate office space must be pro-
vided. These offices should be easily accessible to the public, command
a view of the locker room, and be near the equipment room. They
should provide a desk for each physical education teacher and coach,
a bookcase, a minimum of one filing cabinet, and chairs for the
instructors, plus several additional ones for visitors.
For a school with one person in charge of the program for each
sex, the offices should contain not less than 120 square feet. It is
desirable to have a space measuring 14' x 16' for one instructor
with an additional 1/4 of this amount for each additional instructor.
Instructors' Dressing Units
Dressing rooms should be located immediately adjacent to the
offices. Each should include a clothing closet or locker of at least
18" x 10" x 72" for each teacher, a toilet, lavatory and a mirror
(full length for women). If either unit must serve more than one
instructor, sufficient space to provide a locker for each additional
instructor should be allowed.
Conference rooms should be located near the offices to provide
for such activities as intramural board meetings, committee meetings,
and teacher-pupil conferences. A floor space of approximately 12'
x 15' should be sufficient for each room. They should be equipped
with a conference table and several chairs. Lighting and ventila-
tion comparable to that provided in the classroom should be installed.
Storage For Custodial Supplies
The custodian will need ample space for storing supplies such
as disinfectants, mops, water, mop buckets, and clothing needed in
his work. Space should also be provided for the custodian to change
clothes. Inflammable material should not be stored in this room.
The room should be adjacent to and open into the boys' dressing room.
A room similar to that of the male custodian should be provided
in the girls' dressing suite for the maid to keep the supplies which
will be needed for the proper sanitation and care of the girls'
quarters. Adequate illumination should be provided for both of these
Team Dressing Rooms
It is desirable in some situations to provide a dressing room for
boys' athletic teams separate from the main locker room. While this
room may be located in a building especially designed for showers,
dressing and storage facilities for interscholastic athletic teams, or
included in the stadium (see section on "Stadiums and Bleachers,"
Chapter Seven), it may also be included as a part of the shower
and dressing facilities provided for class and recreational use.
The specifications for this room are the same as for other locker
rooms (see "Locker Rooms" above) except that: (1) a minimum of
15 square feet of dressing space should be provided for each squad
member (of the sport having the largest number on the squad);
(2) space for a full-length (54" to 72") locker (preferably heavy
gauge wire) 24" x 24" should be provided for each player; and (3)
the provision of mechanical ventilation is imperative.
Ample space should be provided for washing and drying machines.
School laundries, though still in the developmental stage in Florida,
have proved economical and practical. A room equipped with hot
and cold water outlets, electrical outlets, shelves and a sink should
be provided for this purpose. It should be accessible to the locker
rooms of both sexes. A space of 100 to 200 square feet (depending
upon the size of the school) should be sufficient.
A necessary adjunct to the program of interscholastic athletics
is the "training (first aid) room." Provision of a floor space of not
less than 200 square feet is desirable. This room should be well
lighted, ventilated and heated, and should include plumbing and
electrical outlets to accommodate the necessary therapeutic equip-
SWIMMING POOLS AND BATHING PLACES
Swimming and water sports now form such a large part of the
recreational activity of the people of the United States that the
school, if it is to discharge its responsibility of helping people live
safely and fully, must provide opportunity for instruction in swim-
ming and life saving. Few Florida schools own swimming pools,
but many of them are using municipally-owned pools or bathing
places to provide instructions in aquatics. Publicly-owned swim-
ming facilities are being provided at an increasingly rapid rate,
and schools should encourage and participate in the planning of
these. Jointly owned school-community pools are being used suc-
cessfully in some cities. Consideration should be given to this pos-
sibility in communities that do not have swimming facilities.
The State Board of Health defines a swimming pool as a swim-
ming facility in which the water supply can be controlled. Chapter
514 of the Florida Statutes 1953, states that, "The State Board
of Health shall have supervision over the sanitation of swimming
pools ." It further delegates to the State Board of Health respon-
sibility for establishing regulations for planning, constructing and
maintaining pools to protect the public. Those planning to construct
or operate a pool should secure a copy of these regulations and rigidly
adhere to them.
If a pool is constructed with public funds and is to be made
available to the community as well as the school, consideration re-
garding its location should be given: (1) to the master plan of the
entire community and (2) to its use by the school. Since the largest
number of people actively interested and participating in aquatics
are of school age, it is desirable to place the pool on or near the
school site. The pool should be located, if possible, adjacent to the
physical education shower and dressing room units, since it is desir-
able to have all bathers take showers before entering the pool; the
same shower and dressing room can serve both purposes.
Size and Shape
In connection with the efficient operation of the program of
aquatics as a part of the physical education program, the following
pool usage must be provided for: 1) swimming instruction (for
nonswimmers, intermediates and advanced) ; 2) water safety courses;
3) recreational swimming for both school and community; 4) inter-
scholastic, intramural and other competitive swimming; and 5)
water pageants. The two pool shapes that lend themselves most
readily to the above mentioned requirements are the T and L shapes,
one axis of which should be 75' by 42'. This provides for six 7-foot
lanes 25 yards long (the accepted "short course" for competitive
swimming). A minimum depth of 3 feet at the shallow end and 10
feet at the deep end (under the diving boards) must be provided.
The two types of pool that are acceptable are: 1) the recircu-
lating pool and 2) the flow-through pool (it should be noted that
the flow-through pool is a poor substitute for the recirculating type).
The rate of flow in each type pool should be 500 gallons per swimmer
per day. Recirculated water should change at the rate of four times
the pool capacity every 24 hours. Recirculated water should be
chlorinated and filtered before being repumped into the pool. The
above mentioned procedure for the operation of the recirculating
pool points up the desirability of the installation of this type over
the flow-through pool.
Pool design and construction are largely engineering problems;
hence, the employment of a thoroughly capable engineer is necessary.
Since the pool is to be an integral part of the total school plant,
an architect should also be consulted in order that the pool structure
be correctly blended into the environs. Pools need to be both safe
and beautiful to be attractive, and the contributions of both the
engineer and the architect are desirable. Chapter XX of the State
Sanitary Code requires that a permit be secured from the State
Board of Health before a contract is entered into for construction
of a pool. The code also sets forth specific requirements for pool
construction and operation. In general, there are presently three
types of material used in basic pool construction; namely, (1) con-
crete (poured or blocks), (2) gunnite, and (3) steel (yet in the
The most acceptable type of overflow or "scum" gutter is at
present the roll-out type. The overflow gutters, providing as they
do for swimmer and pedestrian safety as well as for water sanita-
tion, should be constructed around the entire perimeter of the pool.
Gutter drains should be rather large to provide rapid "run off"
of surface water and should be placed 10 feet apart with the troughs
pitched toward the drains.
The decks and bottom of the pool should be finished in a "sand"
or "brush" finish in order that they will not be slippery. Pool walls
should be smoother to prevent skin abrasions resulting from swim-
mer contact. All corners and edges should be rounded or "cove"
construction to insure safety and to expedite proper cleansing.
Of particular importance in pool construction is the recirculation
and purification of the water. The State Board of Health should
be consulted on this matter and their directions meticulously followed.
Rubber base paint is recommended for the painting of concrete
pools. A light green or blue color is effective. It is recommended
that a white paint be applied to the pool bottom. Clear visibility
to the pool bottom at all depths is necessary.
An area adequate to provide for spectator seating at special
events is desirable. Several types of outdoor construction can be
designed to include smoking and sun bathing sections. It is important
that spectator and swimmer areas be effectively separated so that
there can be no foot traffic between them.
Florida has many natural bodies of water-lakes, springs and
streams-in which the water supply cannot be controlled. When
these are used as public swimming areas, the State Board of Health
classifies them as bathing places.
Schools should use these areas for swimming programs only when
they have been approved by the State Board of Health. It is also
desirable to provide docks and roped-off areas. These should be
arranged for effective instruction and adequate supervision during
recreational swimming periods.
Wading pools provide a great deal of pleasure for small children.
The spray type, providing a central spray of clean water with the
bottom constructed of non-skid material and sloped to provide for
a rapid run-off of water, is a safe and attractive means of intro-
ducing small children to aquatics.
INDOOR PLAY AREAS
Many people are of the opinion that indoor play areas in Florida
are not necessary. However, it is a fact that the incidence of cold
weather, hot sun and seasonal rains are such that programs may
be interfered with considerably if the school plant lacks indoor play
areas. In addition, there are many activities that require a smooth
dirt-free surface for proper and satisfactory play.
The essential indoor facilities for the presentation of a well-
rounded program of physical education are: a gymnasium; an aux-
iliary teaching room; and a play room (for elementary schools).
Where the secondary and elementary schools are combined, a play
room may not be necessary. At the present time various combina-
tion facilities are being experimented with, such as: gymnasium-
auditoriums; cafeteria-auxiliary teaching rooms; and cafeteria-play-
rooms. However, the most effective and desirable physical education
facilities are definitely those designed and used exclusively as such.
Gymnasium, as here used, refers to the main indoor play area
together with such service areas as toilet rooms, concession booths
and storage rooms.
Since the gymnasium is usually the focal point of many indoor
and outdoor activities for both school and community, it is desir-
able to locate the building in such a position as to provide for the
following conditions: proximity to playing fields and parking areas;
minimization of noise interference with other school classes; pro-
vision of entrances and exits that do not require the crossing of
highways or service roads by those using the facility.
Probably the best solution to this problem is that of locating
the building so that it is detached from the main school building
and its environs but connected thereto by a covered walkway.
The following factors are among those requiring consideration
in the determination of the size of a building: cost; type and extent
of program; use for such after-school activities as interscholastic
athletics and intramural sports; use for school graduations, dances,
concerts and similar community activities.
It is estimated that a high school serving 800 to 1200 pupils
would require floor space of approximately 110' x 100'. This would
provide for some folding bleacher seats, a main basketball court
84' x 50' and two teaching areas for class basketball and other
activities. For a junior high school of similar size, or a small high
school, floor space should approximate 100' x 90'. In no case should
a gymnasium providing a floor space of less than 86' x 75' be con-
structed. The height of the ceiling should not be less than 22'.
It is very doubtful if any height above 24' can be justified.
The orientation of the building is chiefly concerned with the
problem of lighting. Usually windows are not placed in the walls
at the ends of the main basketball court. However, if interscholastic
basketball is played at night, this can be done. Since class use
is usually on a "cross court" basis, this may even create a more
desirable teaching situation.
The principal elements in gymnasium structure are the frame,
floor, roof, and walls.
The frame consists of the trusses, arches or girders that form
the skeleton of the building. The rigid frame or the truss type of
construction may be used, depending upon local conditions. Frames
may be constructed of steel, concrete or timber.
It should be noted that the cost per square foot of floor space in-
creases when the length of the span is less than 90' or more than 100'.
While it is desirable to have the design of the gymnasium in
harmony with surrounding buildings, excess design in such items
as columns or towers increases the costs or precludes the inclusion
of more functional items.
Floors should be smooth, durable, resilient, attractive and easy
to maintain. A tongue-and-grooved hardwood (preferably maple)
best meets those specifications. Oak and pecan can also provide
The floor level should be above the level of the ground surround-
ing the gymnasium if the building does not have a basement. This
will make proper ventilation possible.
Floors can be built on piers with girders and joists 16" on center
or placed on sleepers which rest on a concrete slab. The subfloor
is nailed to this base diagonally to the joists. An application of damp
proof paper is laid next, upon which is then nailed the tongue-and-
grooved finish floor boards. These boards should be spaced at 1/32
to 1/16 of an inch. Nailing floor boards too tightly together can
cause buckling. Additional provision for expansion should be made
by leaving space around the perimeter of the floor. This can be
covered by the floor trim which is fastened to the wall. It is advisable
to have all timbers treated by a reliable method prior to installation.
SSeveral types of asphalt, rubber and plastic tiles are being used
for gymnasium floors, and future development of these may result
in an entirely satisfactory surface.
As is true in any structure of this kind, the roof is of para-
mount importance. Two commonly accepted roofing materials are:
mopped felt with marble chips or high grade roofing material on
a mopped surface. As is the case with the floor, deterioration or
the improper installation of a roof can interfere greatly with the
presentation of the program. The proper installation of exterior
flashing and the provision of adequate roof gutters are important
items to be considered in determining roof specifications.
Since walls provide game boundaries, appearance and light-re-
flection, they should have a smooth surface, be easy to clean, be
resistant to rough use and, if possible, provide some resilience.
Glazed tile most nearly provides the desired type of surface, but
brick, concrete block, wood paneling and other materials can be used
successfully. All wall fixtures should be either recessed or placed
at a minimum height of 6'6".
Entrances and Exits
It is desirable to provide at least two entrances to the gymna-
sium in addition to those leading to locker and shower rooms. In
addition, exits should be provided as separate doorways if possible.
Since most doors serve as both exits and entrances, good width is
desirable. Spectator entrances and exits should be double doors with
a mullion that can be removed placed in the center. Service doors
for the handling of heavy apparatus, pianos or other properties
should be provided. Great care should be exercised in the provision
of exits to be used in case of panic, fire or the dispersal of large
crowds. Wherever possible, "panic hardware" should be installed
to help handle this very serious problem.
Stairways and Ramps
The efficiency of traffic movement in, out and around the build-
ing is largely governed by the location of stairways and ramps.
Some factors influencing this installation are safety, distance to be
traversed, ease of entering or leaving, and the amount of traffic to
The use of stairways is traditional, and it is felt by some that
for exterior use the stairway provides a better appearance. Recent
architectural developments may challenge this concept, but as yet
it is generally accepted. From the utilitarian standpoint steps can
be used efficiently wherein the rise would be too steep for the use
of ramps. Desirable characteristics of stairways include the fol-
lowing: 1) they should be fireproof, well-lighted, and ventilated;
2) runs should have not less than three nor more than sixteen risers;
3) risers should not exceed 61/", and the tread should be at least
101/" from riser to riser; 4) all treads and landings should be of
Wherein the rise required is not too great, the use of ramps
serves all purposes that stairs serve, as well as others. Some char-
acteristics of ramps are: 1) they enable traffic to move faster;
2) the smooth incline prevents walker from missing steps; 3) they
provide surface for rolling such vehicles as wheel chairs and freight
trucks; 4) they are easily cleaned. Ramps should be provided with
handrails and should be constructed of an abrasive material-prefer-
ably ceramic tile. The ramp should provide a moderate incline and
should be of a width appropriate to the requirement to be placed
Heating, Lighting and Ventilation
Contrary to some beliefs, it is highly desirable to provide heat
for nearly all Florida gymnasiums. It is recommended that provision
for heating the playing area to temperatures varying from 60 to 65
degrees at four feet above floor level is desirable. Attention should
be given to the efficiency, durability, space requirement, ease of
cleaning and long range economy of the heating unit.
Adequate ventilation and circulation are necessary in order that
all persons in the building receive the advantages of the distribution
of clean, fresh, warm, or cool air (as desired).
The most economical but least dependable such system is, of
course, the natural flow of air in and out of vents and windows.
Forced air ventilation provides for a more even distribution of con-
trolled air. Proper humidity not only reduces heating costs but
provides for a more healthful situation.
In most cases gymnasiums depend largely upon natural lighting.
Proper placement of windows with relation to the relative position
of the sun requires study. In this connection the employment of
the saw-tooth skylight type construction may be considered. It is
believed that this type of construction will provide an adequate
substitute for side windows and will eliminate the glare from most
Gymnasiums require supplemental lighting for dark days and
night functions. The playing areas should be provided a minimum
of 18-foot candles at a distance four feet above floor level. Twenty-
to twenty-five foot candles are more desirable for interscholastic
basketball. The spectator area should be provided a minimum of
5 to 7 foot candles. Adequate switch control should provide for the
lowering of spectator lights when the contest or function is being
Two types of lighting have been found satisfactory in gymna-
siums; incandescent and fluorescent. The incandescent system is
cheaper to install and presents less difficulty in the replacement of
lamps, whereas the operation cost of the fluorescent is considerably
RLM porcelain enamel or alzak reflectors are desirable from the
standpoint of maintenance and durability. Incandescent units may
be equipped with a wire guard with an open center to permit
relamping from the floor with a lamp-changer.
In the gymnasium the visual requirement is rapid and distinct
vision into any portion of the room. This requires even light dis-
tribution throughout the entire playing area. It may be advisable
to provide supplementary light on such local areas, as goals and
targets, but such supplementary light sources must be shielded from
the eyes in order to maintain brightness balance. To obtain maxi-
mum reflection with sufficient intensity for good seeing, all surfaces
within the gymnasium should be relatively light with a flat rather
than a glossy finish.
It is recommended that there should be installed several lights
with three or four-way switches that can be controlled at different
points in the gymnasium. These lights may be used when entering
or leaving the gymnasium at night.
There should be exit lights over each exit. These lights should
be on a separate supply from the main lights.
Emergency lighting should be provided in the event of failure
of the main lighting system. This can be accomplished by using
self-contained floodlight units which turn on automatically when
the power fails. These should be checked before each night-use of
Provision should be made for outlets which allow for the installa-
tion of an electric scoreboard, public address system and telephone.
Controls should be easily accessible. The lights should be so
wired that certain areas can be lighted without using the entire
system. It is also desirable for controls, to be installed so that
unauthorized persons cannot turn lights on or off after the lighting
arrangement desired for a particular function has been set.
The equipment should meet the instructional needs of the indi-
vidual school and school system. It is essential that instructional
material be supplied which will best meet the needs as expressed
in the basic philosophy, rather than to attempt to fit the program
to existing equipment.
The following are some items that should be considered in the
selection of equipment to meet the needs of various sports activities:
1) basketball backboards, 2) climbing ropes and ladders, 3) hori-
zontal bars, 4) horizontal ladders, 5) traveling rings, 6) telescopic
bleachers, 7) bulletin boards, 8)public address system, 9) score-
board clock, 10) stall bars, 11) pulley weights, 12) scorers' table
and outlets, 13) punching bags.
Portable equipment for which storage space needs to be provided
includes such items as: 1) mats and mat covers, 2) mat racks,
3) phonographs, 4) chalk boards, 5) parallel bars, 6) horses, 7)
pianos, 8) springboards, 9) table tennis tables, 10) visual aid
equipment, 11) speaker's platform.
The size of the plant, number of students enrolled in the indi-
vidual classes, geographic location of the school, socio-economic
groups to be served and other community facilities, are factors
which have to be taken into consideration in determining the amount
and type of equipment.
Of great importance in the preliminary planning of the plant
is the submission of a list containing the items of equipment to the
architect so that he may include in his drawings such items as
floor plates (for standards and apparatus), and wall and ceiling
brackets to facilitate mounting of fixed equipment.
Service Areas of the Gymnasium
The gymnasium should provide a storage room containing a
minimum of 200 square feet immediately adjacent to the playing
floor. This room should be equipped with a double door to permit
the moving of equipment easily and quickly.
The floor and walls should be of concrete or hard substance that
will not chip or crack when equipment is pushed on or against it.
The room should have natural ventilation, be free of dampness, and
be well lighted. To avoid dampness, the room should not be located
adjacent to the shower room.
In addition to toilet facilities installed for use by the participants
in the programs of physical education and interscholastic athletics,
a sufficient number of toilets, urinals and wash basins should be
provided to care for the requirements of the spectators and general
public using the building.
Entrances should be wide and the immediate interior view pro-
tected by built-in screens or baffles. Where possible, separate exits
and entrances make traffic flow much more efficient. The minimum
width should be ten feet, and the length should be sufficient to pro-
vide desirable space between fixtures. If windows are used for ven-
tilation, window space should be approximately 12% of the floor
area. Forced ventilation is desirable. Five to ten foot candles of
illumination should be provided.
Walls and floors for toilet rooms should be similar to those in
shower and locker rooms (see section on "Toilet Rooms," Chapter
Chapter Seven of the State Sanitary Code states that adequate
facilities for public toilets are determined by the seating capacity
of the building. Ratios for use by sex are as follows: 1) one toilet
seat for each 100 gymnasium seats provided for women, and 2) one
toilet seat plus one urinal for each 150 gymnasium seats provided
for men. Where the number of gymnasium seats exceeds 600, the
ratios may be reduced as follows: 1) one toilet seat for each 120
women, and 2) one toilet seat and one urinal for each 200 men.
No toilet room should contain less than one lavatory; it is desir-
able that one lavatory be provided for each 200 gymnasium seats
for each sex.
The Code further provides that each toilet seat shall be separated
by a partition; and a door, providing full privacy, shall be attached.
Each lavatory should be provided dispensers for soap (preferably
liquid) and paper or other disposable type towels.
The main lobby should provide an area for the following: 1) traf-
fic flow from outside directly to the ticket collectors and gymnasium;
2) standing area for those waiting or purchasing tickets at the
booth or window; 3) sufficient door space to permit the uninter-
rupted exit of a crowd.
It is often desirable to provide auxiliary ticket booths outside
the building so that the traffic flowing into the building is balanced.
If concession booths are built, adequate space for the inclusion
of sinks, running water, electrical outlets and cleaning facilities
should be provided. It is suggested that popcorn machines and
other smoke and grease producing machines be located outside the
A custodial room is necessary for the proper care of the building.
Such a room should provide adequate racks, lockers and shelves for
the efficient storage of janitorial supplies. It is desirable that a
service sink be installed. The room should be made as fireproof as
possible, should be well ventilated and illuminated, and should be
easily accessible to the custodial personnel. A fire extinguisher should
be made a part of the permanent equipment of this room.
Auxiliary Teaching Room
A complete gymnasium should have an auxiliary room of not
less than 1500 square feet for a school with enrollment of 1000 or
under and 2000 square feet for a school with an enrollment of over
1000. Such a room serves as an indoor area for classes when in-
clement weather prohibits outdoor classes. It also provides an area
for teaching first aid, health, adapted class activities and rhythms.
The room should be located near the storage room, as equipment
stored there will be used from time to time. The room must be
well ventilated and properly lighted with natural and artificial light.
The floor surface should be durable and resilient. Hardwood or cork,
and asphalt, rubber or plastic tile are suitable. Portable benches
or folding chairs should be used for seating because these can easily
be moved to allow for activity. A talk and chalk board should be
There are many acceptable methods of locating this room. In
some localities the room may be built at the entrance to the gym-
nasium and can be used as a teaching facility, lobby, or a recrea-
tional room by students during free periods. It may be a separate
room in the front or back end of the gymnasium, or it may be a
part of the main area of the building. Some of the larger gym-
nasiums have been planned so that the bleacher area is utilized as
an auxiliary room. Where bleachers are two or more sections high,
the platform on which the upper sections rest (when pulled out for
seats) form the floor of the auxiliary room. Where this system is
used, a sliding partition (which drops behind the lower bleacher
section) or curtains should be used to screen the noise from the
main floor area.
Elementary Play Room
In planning the elementary school plant, provision should be made
for a play room. This room will serve the elementary school as the
auxiliary teaching room does the secondary school. A room of this
type is desirable in the presentation of a well-rounded program.
Learning experiences through activities such as rhythmic games,
dances, skits, pantomimes, singing and movies are presented here
much better than in a classroom. Portable benches or folding chairs,
should be used for seating, as these can easily be adjusted to meet
the needs of the activity at hand. The room should have a minimum
of 1500 square feet, but a room of 2000 square feet is more desirable.
Characteristics of the room are: 1) a floor of durable substance
that has resiliency, such as wood, cork, asphalt, rubber or plastic
tile; 2) sound control; 3) good ventilation; 4) good lighting (na-
tural and artificial); 5) pleasing and non-glare wall and ceiling
colors; 6) a 12' minimum ceiling height; 7) two entrances; 8)
sufficient storage space for storing game equipment; and 9) walls
of a rigid substance that will not crack easily.
OUTDOOR PLAY AREAS
Much of the physical education program is conducted out-of-doors.
Consequently, the same careful attention should be given to the
planning, construction and maintenance of out-door facilities that
is given to indoor teaching facilities. Surfacing, fencing, landscaping,
lighting, seating, and permanent equipment are just as important
for playing fields, hard-surfaced courts, stadiums, tracks, baseball
diamonds, and special areas, as they are for classrooms, laboratories
and other indoor teaching areas.
Landscaping of Outdoor Play Areas
The landscaping and planting of outdoor play areas have become
more important as school authorities have come to recognize their
utilitarian and ornamental values. In this connection some uses
of grass, trees, shrubs, and vines are: 1) isolation and segrega-
tion of areas; 2) reduction of floor maintenance; 3) screening
of noise and unsightly facilities; 4) control of vehicular and pedes-
trian traffic; 5) control of soil erosion; 6) provision of shade; and
7) use as a windbreak.
Trees and Shrubbery
Trees and shrubbery are an important factor in landscape plans.
A chart of those found in Florida together with facts about them
is included in Chapter Three. Certain special considerations should
be examined when planning these for use on or near play areas.
Trees should be planted 50 to 60 feet away from team game
areas. They should be light feeders and shed their leaves at the
same time of year. Evergreens with small leaves are desirable.
Trees should never be planted near a concrete play area because
the leaves stain the concrete, create a safety hazard, and the roots
often displace the concrete.
Shrubbery for play areas should be selected on the basis of soil
preference, growing habits and resistance to disease and insect pests.
Those with small leaves are most desirable. They should be insect
and disease resistant because spraying is difficult with pupils using
areas, and the residue could be injurious. Shrubbery which has
pointed or sharp leaf edges should not be used. Where hedges are
planted near fences, they should be planted outside the fence at a
distance of 5' to 6' to make pruning easier and to prevent wind
or storm damage from swaying branches. It should be noted that
shrubbery should be used to separate playing areas only when suf-
ficient funds are available to provide for proper maintenance. Chain
link fencing, requiring little maintenance, can be installed at ap-
proximately the same cost.
Wear resistance and maintenance level required should be given
major consideration in selecting grasses for play areas. Grasses
requiring high maintenance even though possessing good wear tol-
erance, should not be selected if proper maintenance cannot be pro-
Bahia (Pensacola) grass is satisfactory for play areas in Florida,
but has the limitation of being fairly open or coarse. It can be
established from seed, and is well adapted to most soil conditions
throughout the state. While it has a low salt tolerance, it has good
tolerance against extreme temperatures and drought and is rela-
tively free of disease and insect pests. It should be cut l1/." to
2" in height with a rotary type mower. One to two applications
of fertilizer per year are sufficient for good growth.
The best turf grasses are found in the improved Bermuda
varieties. Any of the following are good: Tifton 57, Ormond, or
Everglades 31. Tifton 57 is highly recommended because of its
outstanding disease resistance. Bermuda grasses have greater wear
resistance than almost any grass in the South. Vegetative planting
is necessary in these improved varieties as seed is not available.
All of these varieties will grow well throughout the state, but re-
quire a high level of maintenance. In general, Bermuda grass requires
3 or 4 applications of fertilizer per year, and occasional pest control
measures are needed. It should be cut to a height of 1" or slightly
less, with a reel type mower. Mowing is one of the most important
factors in the management of Bermuda turf. If the grass is per-
mitted to grow several inches and then cut, a brown condition
results, which reduces vigor and turf quality. It is well to have
a soil ph test run occasionally to determine lime requirements.
During extended dry seasons, watering should be done every 5 to
10 days depending upon conditions. Water equivalent to 1" of rain-
fall should be applied at each irrigation.
If funds for maintenance are severely limited, it is advisable
to plant a combination of common Bermuda grass and Bahia (Pen-
sacola) grass. This combination can be seeded.
Fencing of Play Areas
Where fields and play areas are enclosed, a chain link fence,
with heights to meet the controls of the planned program of the
individual school and community, should be used.
Some characteristics of good fencing are stability, durability,
economy of maintenance, attractiveness and effectiveness. Woven
wire fencing of the chain link type (minimum thickness 11 gauge)
with a top rail has been found to meet the above requirements
satisfactorily. This type of fence should be mounted on a rust
resistant pipe or steel frame. Where boundary line fences are neces-
sary, it is desirable that they be set at least 10 feet inside the
property or sidewalk line to provide for a planting area outside
The use of barbed wire is not recommended and state law pro-
hibits its use below a height of 6'. The bottom of the fence should
be at ground level.
Lighting of Outdoor Play Areas
The period since the close of World War II has witnessed an
unparalleled growth in sports and recreational lighting. Since well-
lighted recreational facilities make possible the participation of many
who are not able to play during working hours, the growth of
outdoor illumination of recreational facilities is likely to continue.
As a result of this interest in outdoor lighting, equipment has been
improved, considerable study has been given to lighting problems,
and information is available concerning recommended standards.1
The illumination necessary for play depends upon the speed of flight
of the ball. For example, IES recommends from 150 foot candles
of illumination for major league baseball down to 30 foot candles
for semi-pro baseball in the infield, and a range of from 50 (college
play) to 10 (recreational use) foot candles for basketball.
The placement of lights depends, in part, upon the plane of play.
Football, with most of its play parallel to the long axis of the field
and largely near the ground, presents a different problem from a
baseball diamond, where the flight of the ball is faster, higher and
likely to be in any direction.
Even distribution of light is necessary though intensity may vary
from one part of the area to another. For example, greater in-
tensity is needed in the infield than in the outfield of a baseball
diamond. If distribution is uneven, the ball appears to travel at
various speeds as it passes through varying intensities of light.
This factor makes aiming of luminaries a very important considera-
tion in sports lighting.
A variety of equipment is available for outdoor lighting. Steel
or wood poles can be used, and both have their uses and advantages.
Some sports can best be lighted with overhead luminaries attached
to poles and/or crossarms using overhead wiring. Either hard glass
or soft glass lamps (which must be covered for satisfactory service)
can be used. Reflectors are made of porcelain enamel, glass and
SMost manufacturers of electrical equipment, electric utilities concerns and
distributors of electrical equipment have materials containing standards recom-
mended by the Illumination Engineering Society and the National Electric Manu-
Other factors which must be considered are: keeping lights out
of players' and spectators' eyes; designing to keep maintenance costs
at a minimum; and providing for switch control that will permit
lowest operating costs.
All of the above discussion indicates that the lighting of sports
areas is a complicated problem requiring technical knowledge. For
effective service and economical operation, outdoor lighting should
be designed by a competent engineer.
Playing fields, as here used, include softball diamonds, fields
for soccer, touch football, and other field games, as well as open
areas for games of the low organization type. It is desirable for
teaching purposes to have a large open grassed area (see "Grasses"
above) that can be marked off as needed rather than separate fields
and diamonds. In most schools there is no necessity for separate
field areas for each sex. If adequate teaching stations are provided,
the same fields can be used by both sexes.
Location and Orientation
Playing fields should be located as near dressing, shower and
toilet facilities as is feasible. Consideration should be given, in
locating them, to disturbance of other school activities by noise
from these areas.
In orientation of playing fields, the major concern is sun in the
players' eyes and safety of non-participants. Touch football fields
should have the long axis in a north-south direction because the
flight of the ball is largely parallel to the long axis. Softball dia-
monds are best oriented with the home plate, pitcher's mound and
second base axis in a general north-south direction. The position
of the sun during the season of the year and the time of day of
greatest play in the particular area should be the determining factor.
Safety of non-participants and property from batted balls is also
In determining the size of playing field areas, consideration should
be given to the school enrollment and the uses to which the fields
are to be put. If the area is to be used for adult recreation, suf-
ficient space should be provided for fields of adult dimensions.
If separate fields are desired, the chart below should make de-
termination of size relatively simple. By dividing the school enroll-
ment by 2 (to get the approximate number of each sex) and dividing
the resulting figure by the number of class periods, the number of
people who will need to use a particular type of field at one time
can be determined. (This is assuming that the two sexes will use
the facilities at different seasons.) The column at the right of
the chart gives the minimum and maximum number of players for
one field for each activity. The number of fields needed can be
determined by dividing these figures into the number of players
to be served.
Size of Playing Fields
Game Dimenisons of Use Required Number of
Play Areas Dimensions (Sq. Ft.) Players*
Field Hockey 120'x200' 150'x250' 37,500 14-24
Soccer 100'x200' 125'x240' 30,000 12-24
Softball 45' Diamond 150'x150' 22,500 18-24
Touch Football 120'x240' 140'x280' 39,200 12-24
Secondary and Adults
Field Hockey 180'x300' 200'x350' 66,000 12-24
Soccer (Men) 150'x300' 240'x360' 86,400 12-24
Soccer (Women) 120'x240' 200'x320' 64,000 12-24
Softball 60' Diamond 200'x250' 50,000 18-24
Touch Football 150'x300' 165'x330' 54,450 12-24
There are no standard dimensions for low-organization games.
In the secondary school, if two fields of each type are provided for
a class of from 30-50 pupils, practices and low-organization games
can be conducted on the area without additional space being needed.
If space is needed in the elementary school for small group and
large group play in addition to that needed for team games, an
area the size of a touch football field is sufficient for a group of 30
to 35 pupils.
If one large area is desired, determination of the space is some-
what more complicated. It is desirable to provide sufficient space
to handle the largest group in the activity that needs the largest
area. On this basis, a secondary school of 1200 pupils would need
an area of 864,000 square feet. This is assuming that 200 pupils-
1200 divided by 6 (number of periods)-would use the area at one
time. If these were divided into five classes of 40 pupils each, they
would need 10 fields (two for each class). Regulation soccer, the
most space consuming activity, requires 86,400 square feet (see
chart) per field and 10 x 86,400 equals 864,000 square feet.
The maximum figure includes one substitute for each team, who could be
used as an official.
Where space is limited this figure may be reduced by as much
as one half without impairing the program, if other facilities are
available. If sufficient teaching stations are provided by indoor
facilities, hard-surfaced courts and special areas, in order to serve
one sex the playing field area need be only large enough to accommo-
date the largest group of one sex.
Activities such as tennis, handball, shuffleboard, basketball, roller
skating, dancing and paddle tennis require hard, smooth surfaces.
Some of these are best conducted outdoors, and others can be satis-
factorily played indoors. Consequently hard-surfaced areas should
be provided for these activities.
The most satisfactory results are obtained when courts designed
for the particular activity are provided for tennis, handball and
shuffleboard, and all-purpose courts are provided for the other
Concrete and various bituminous mixtures provide the best sur-
faces for hard-surfaced courts. Clay or other stabilized soils can
provide hard surfaces, but they require constant maintenance for
Sub-surface conditions are equally important for all types of
hard-surfaced courts. When fills are required, 6" layers should be
applied with each being thoroughly and uniformly compacted before
the next layer is added. Where fills are not necessary, all sod and
top soil should be removed down to firm ground. If the soil is not
well-drained, a 6" layer of compacted gravel or rock should be used
for a sub-base. This should be thoroughly smoothed and compacted
before the playing surface is laid.
The playing surface should be a 4" layer of concrete, plant-mix
asphalt or patented bituminous mixture.1 Surfaces should be sloped
to provide proper drainage. Where concrete is used, the finish
should be a swirl type finish that will provide the greatest traction
with the least abrasiveness (in case of falls).
Provision for drainage at the edges of the courts is necessary.
This is particularly important where bituminous mixtures are used
to prevent washing of the soil from under the edges and then caus-
ing them to chip off. Beveling the edges so they can be covered
with the surrounding soil is helpful. Also helpful is sloping the
earth away from the edges to provide for run-off of surface water,
or using porous material (crushed stones, cinders or shells) in the
earth adjacent to the edges of the courts to absorb surface water.
Several satisfactory mixtures are now on the market. Information con-
cerning these can be secured from manufacturers. Most sports and physical
education publications carry advertisements of these products.
Provision for placing posts or standards to support baskets or
nets should be made when the court is constructed. Holes of the
desired diameter should be left so that posts or sleeves (for remov-
able posts) can be inserted in them. Concrete can be poured around
these to hold them in place. These holes should extend through the
surface layer so that water will not collect in them.1
Tennis is a popular form of recreation for people from junior
high school age to later adulthood. Since skill in tennis, as in many
sports, is best learned at the ages when youth are usually in school,
facilities for teaching tennis should be available to schools.
For teaching purposes tennis courts are best arranged in batteries
of from three to six courts. Less than three courts so limits teach-
ing and recreational opportunities that the construction of less than
this minimum is probably an unwise expenditure of funds.
Tennis is played on a court 36' x 78', but it is desirable to
provide an additional 21' behind each base line and 12' on each
side of and between courts. A battery of three courts would require,
therefore, a space of 18,720 square feet. Construction cost can be
reduced by extending the concrete or bituminous surface only 6'
behind the base lines and 3' on each side of the side lines. Each
full half of a tennis court should be placed in one continuous pro-
cess with the only expansion joint being between halves (under the
net) of the court. A continuous slope of 1" in 20' from one end of
the court to the other is permitted for drainage. No cross slope is
Chain link fencing (2" mesh) 10' to 12' high should be provided
at the ends of the playing area for backstops.2
Handball, a popular sport for boys and men, is played on several
types of courts of varying dimensions. Official one-wall handball
(the most common outdoor version of handball) is played on a court
20' wide by 34' long with one wall 16' high. Considerable interest
is added to the game if side walls are also provided. These need
extend only 12' to 15' back from the front wall. If a back wall is
desired, the length of the court may be increased to 46' (the length
of the official four-wall game), though a 42' length is sufficient for
The walls may be of wood or precast concrete. Wood should
1 Further details of construction of various hard-surfaced courts can be
secured from the Portland Cement Association, 33 W. Grand Avenue, Chicago 10,
2 Further details of construction of tennis courts are available in the Official
be treated tongue and groove. Concrete walls should be finished
with a smooth surface.
Shuffleboard is a very popular game with elderly people but
has limited use in the school program of physical education. If
the school facilities are not planned for extensive community use,
the gymnasium floor, sidewalks, porches and similar areas should
provide sufficient areas for shuffleboard courts. Where special courts
for shuffleboard are desirable, they (like tennis and handball) should
be constructed in batteries of three to six courts. Court dimensions
are 6' x 52' with a 6' gutter between courts.
The surface must be smooth. Concrete or terrazzo can provide
satisfactory service. Backstops at the ends of each court and a
score board for each court increase the interest in the sport.
One or more multi-purpose courts are desirable for conducting
a well-rounded physical education program in an elementary or
secondary school. All purpose courts are desirable even when indoor
areas are available. Costs for these courts are low when compared
to indoor areas.
The minimum size should provide space for a basketball court
for the age group which is to use it. An area 42' x 62' should be
considered a minimum size for an elementary school and 60' x 80'
a minimum for a secondary school. A much more desirable size is
90' x 110'. This size court will provide space for two 60' x 84' basket-
ball courts and three volley ball courts with sufficient space between
courts and on the ends, as well as areas for such activities as bad-
minton, paddle tennis, aerial tennis, dancing and roller skating. It
is necessary to determine the activities to be conducted on the courts
before construction begins so that holes can be left for the insertion
of sleeves (for removable posts).
Since these courts will receive constant use, they should be so
placed that they are easily accessible to shower and locker rooms
and to the main building. The location should also be such that noise
from the area will not disturb classes in the buildings, and traffic
to and from the area will not have to cross service roads or other
The courts should provide a slope of approximately 1/8 to the
foot from a center crown to the sides to ensure rapid drainage.
Stadiums and Bleachers
Stadiums, enclosed areas providing playing areas, seating for
spectators and service facilities, should be provided for interschol-
astic athletic contests, concerts, dramatic productions and community
activities of various kinds. Frequently, it is desirable for the stadium
to be constructed as a community project, with the school cooperating
with such agencies as the County Board of Commissioners, City
Council, and civic and service clubs. Whether it is constructed as a
community project or financed entirely by the school, the stadium
should be designed for the greatest multiple use possible.
Track and football can be effectively combined with the same
seating, lighting, parking, dressing and other auxiliary facilities
serving both. With the track placed around the football field the
area inside the track provides sufficient space for a variety of
It is more difficult to combine softball or baseball with other
activities. This is particularly true where night play is planned.
Lighting engineers recommend that separate lighting facilities be
provided for softball, baseball, and football. If football is combined
with baseball or softball, the playing field of the former should be
located outside of the infields of the latter two sports.
Events involving the use of horses or cattle on the playing area
should not be permitted because of the danger of anthrax and tetanus
The stadium should be located on or near the school site and
should be easily accessible to arterial streets and adjacent to ample
parking areas. One parking space for every three seats is desirable.
While football requires a playing area of only 57,000 square feet,
an area of approximately 95,000, exclusive of seating space, should
be provided for a football stadium. If track and field facilities are
to be included in the same area, a space of 120,000 to 210,000 square
feet (depending upon the length of the straightaway) is necessary.
A minimum use area of 300' x 325' or 97,500 square feet exclusive
of seating space, should be provided for a baseball park. Fifty thou-
sand square feet are sufficient for softball.
Football fields should be oriented with the long axis running north
and south. The field should be graded to provide a "crown" or "turtle-
back" of 6" to 10" to ensure good surface drainage. The surface
should be the best quality of turf permitted by the maintenance
level available. (See section on "Grasses")
Where a football field and track are combined, a 6" drain tile
placed 3' inside the pole curb will serve the dual purpose of draining
the football field and the track. This tile should be perforated or
installed with open joints in a French drain ditch (back filled with
cinders, gravel, rock or shell) so that the ground water can get into
it rapidly. Three sumps on each side of the field and one at each
end, connected in this tile line and having grating covers, will handle
the surface water. Additional laterals may be laid if desired.
The surfaces for the running track, baseball diamonds and soft-
ball diamonds are discussed in other sections.
The number of seats provided for spectators will vary directly
with the uses to which the facility is to be put and the community
interest in the activities planned. Seating capacity should be deter-
mined by past attendance and anticipated growth of interest. Na-
tionally, a commonly recognized standard is a seating capacity suf-
ficient to seat 20 to 25 per cent of the population for towns of 5,000
or less and approximately 10 per cent of the population in larger
cities. Approximately 18" of seating space should be allotted for
Wood, steel, concrete or a combination of these are satisfactory
materials for bleachers. A relatively inexpensive type of construc-
tion for small stadiums is the concrete block frame with pre-cast
concrete slab for seats.
Where wood is used it should be pressure treated with a preser-
vative. Where steel is desired it is advisable to purchase the bleach-
ers from a reliable manufacturer. All bolts and nails used in con-
struction should be galvanized.
It is advisable to employ a competent engineer to design any
stadium seats, but one should always be consulted when seats are
to be more than eight to ten tiers high.
To provide effective seating the first row of seats should be about
4'6" to 5'6" above the ground level. Seat boards should be 8" -10"
wide (a 2" x 6" and a 2" x 4" spaced "1/ apart), with all edges
rounded. The seats should slope 1/2" to the back and be 18" above
the foot rest. The distance from the front of one tier of seats to
the next should be 24" to 30", and the amount of rise from one tier
to the next should be from 4" to 8".
Such service facilities as toilet rooms, ticket booths, concession
booths, press boxes, housing for maintenance equipment and adequate
entrances and exits should be provided in the stadium.
Toilet rooms may be located under the bleachers or housed in
buildings near the entrances. For other specifications, see Chapter
Six, section on "Toilet Rooms."
Ticket booths and concession booths should be located near the
entrances. They can be placed under bleachers, if these are properly
arranged, or they can be placed in buildings especially constructed
for them. These are also discussed in Chapter Six.
A press box, located at the top of the bleachers, should provide
sufficient desk space for the representatives of the press and visiting
scouts. It should be provided adequate artificial light, equipped with
telephone service and wired for a public address system.
A line marker, a power mower, water sprinklers, a roller, wheel-
barrows and small maintenance tools are needed to keep stadiums
in good condition. Housing should be provided for these in or near
Entrances should be located near parking areas, and numerous
exits should be provided to permit rapid emptying of the stadium.
Track and Field Facilities
Track and field facilities should be located adjacent to dressing
rooms and should provide seating and parking facilities for specta-
tors. Locating the track facilities within the football stadium per-
mits the use of the same dressing rooms, seating for spectators and
watering and lighting facilities for both sports.
The Running Track
The standard running track is a one-quarter mile oval with at
least a 120 yard straightaway on the spectator side. However, it is
desirable to construct a 220 yard straightaway whenever possible.
The track is measured 12" from the pole (inside), and the radius
of the curve should be not less than 106'. A more desirable radius
is 115'. The pole or inner edge of the track should be a solid curb,
preferably of concrete. The curb should be between 3" and 4" above
the track level and 1' below ground level, and from 4" to 5" wide
with a rounded top. The track should be six lanes wide on the curves
and backstretch with an eight lane width on the straightaway or
homestretch. Lanes should be 48" wide.
The construction of a good track requires that the ground should
be excavated to a depth of not less than 19". The bottom layer should
be 6" of rough fill composed of rocks approximately 3" in diameter.
The second layer should be 6" of clinker cinders covered with 4" of
1/4" sifted cinders. The top surface or top-dressing is composed of a
mixture of clay and 1/2" screened cinders 3" in depth. The propor-
tion of the mixture may vary from equal parts of clay and cinders
to one-third clay and two-thirds cinders. These strips should be
constructed using different proportions in order to determine the
best mixture. The use of a cement mixer will assist in securing an
even mix. Each layer should be spread evenly, rolled and leveled.
The track surface should be higher than the surrounding ground
level and openings should be left in the curb to provide for surface
drainage of the track.
Field Event Facilities
Field event areas should be placed inside the track and as near
as possible to the spectator side of the field. It is more desirable, but
not necessary, to have dual field event facilities. Runways and
approaches for the jumping pits should be constructed in the same
manner as the track. It is a good plan to have the surface of
these runways elevated two or three inches above the level of the
surrounding terrain for drainage.
The broad jump runway should be 110' to 130' long and from
4' to 5' wide. Official rules require that the take-off board be a
"joist 8" wide and at least 4' long which shall be set firmly in and
on the same level as the ground." The ground in front of the take-off
board must be flush with the board. Provisions should be made for
easy replacement of the board.
The landing pit must be at least 9' wide and 15' long. The pit
usually extends from a point 10' in front of the board to a point
15' to 20' beyond. Builders sand is the preferred filler for the broad
jump pit and should be approximately 18" deep.
The pole vault runway should be 125' to 140' long and 4' wide.
It is sometimes desirable to construct runways converging on the
pit from opposite directions so that variations in the sun and
wind conditions may be more satisfactorily met. According to offi,
cial rules, the box should be a "wooden or metal box measuring 3'4"
in length, 2' wide at the front, tapering to 6" in width at the stop
board, which shall be 8" deep." The rules further specify that "the
box shall be placed so that the front and the tops of the sides and
the stop-board shall be flush with the ground and the stop-board at
right angles with the ground and placed flush with the landing pit."
Official requirements for the pole vault landing pit are 16' wide and
12' long, however, the most common size pit is 16' by 14'. The land-
ing pit should be filled with shavings or a combination of shavings
and sawdust to a height of from 3' to 3'6" above the ground.
The high jump should have a level, semi-circular area so that
the jumpers can run at the bar from any direction in front of the
standards and it should extend out from the side of the pit in a 15'
radius. The pit must be at least 16' wide and 10' long. The ideal
size is 16' x 14'. This landing pit should be filled with shavings or a
combination of shavings and sawdust to a height above ground level
of from 1 /' to 3'.
The weight events surfacing should be such as to provide good
footing and drainage. Construction of the circles should be the same
as that for the track except that the excavation does not need to
be as deep. Each sub-surface layer can be reduced by 3" or 4" except
the top-dressing. The diameter of the shot put circle must be 7' and
that of the discus circle must be 8' 21/t". The outer edge of both
circles should consist of a sunken metal band which lies flush with
the ground. It should be painted white. The toe-board for the shot
put ring is a wooden arc, 4' long, 4" high and 4" wide. The inner
curve of the toe board must be identical with the curve of the circle.
This toe board should be painted white and should be so constructed
that it can be stored during the off-season. Both the shot and discus
areas should be located away from the other field activities and
the track to avoid injuries to participants in other events.
The above suggested construction is based on the composite opin-
ions of track coaches all over the country. Where budget limitations
or availability of materials make such construction impossible, the
following suggestions are offered:
Curb-treated 2" x 8" lumber spiked to treated 2" x 4" stakes
has been successfully used, though the life of such a curb is neces-
Track-the depths of excavation and thickness of layers of ma-
terial (except the top layer) may be reduced. Where there is a
good, firm, sandy subsoil, the two bottom layers may be eliminated
entirely if the subsoil is well graded and compact so as to offer a
good foundation. If clay is not available, colloidal phosphate or pul-
verized limerock may be substituted. If cinders are not available,
a sand clay or limerock sand mixture might be used. In any event
test strips should be constructed to determine suitability.
Runways and circles-may be made of clay or sand clay or lime-
rock clay or limerock sand with only enough excavation to provide a
3" finished thickness. All should be elevated enough above surround-
ing ground to provide good surface drainage.
Baseball, though seldom included in any phase of the physical
education program except the interscholastic athletic phase, is one
of the most popular sports in the United States. Consequently,
schools should have access to baseball facilities. It is usually advis-
able to locate these separate from other outdoor areas because of the
special requirements of the playing surface, the danger of injury
to those not playing, the special lighting requirements, and the size
of the area needed. Baseball facilities should be located in an en-
closed stadium on or near the school site.
The diamond should be oriented in such a way that the sun is in
the eyes of the fewest number of players and there is least danger
to non-participants. The best orientation must be determined locally.
The angle of the sun's rays for the time of year and time of day
of greatest use of the facility is the determining factor. The common
practice is to have the axis through home plate, pitcher's box and
second base oriented in a northeast-southwest or northwest-southeast
direction wtih home plate at the northeast or northwest end.
A playing area approximately 300' x 325', 97,500 square feet, is
needed for high school or adult use. This does not include space for
seating or service facilities.
The surface of the infield should be stabilized dirt or turf. If the
latter is used, it should be the best quality permitted by the level
of maintenance available (see "Grasses") and should cover the infield
with the exception of the areas near the baselines, home plate and
the pitcher's box.
Stabilized dirt should be used for the baselines, pitcher's box and
home plate areas, and may be used for the entire infield. Stabiliza-
tion can be obtained by mixing sand and clay or sand and muck. The
muck or clay should comprise 20 % to 40% (depending upon texture)
of the mixture. The muck has the advantage of not baking hard in
the sun as the clay tends to do.
The pitcher's box should be raised (not more than 15") above
the level of the bases, and the surface should be gradually sloped
to the baselines.
Where turf is used, the skinned areas should be 6' wide for the
first and third base lines, should extend in a semicircle 20' to 30' into
the outfield between the first and third base foul lines, and should
provide a clear area from home plate to the back-stop.
A screened back-stop 15' to 20' high should be placed a minimum
of 60' behind home plate. If less than 60' is available a hooded back-
stop should be constructed to keep balls in the park and protect
automobiles and pedestrians.
Seating (preferably covered) should be provided for players
separate from those for spectators.
In addition to playing fields, hard-surfaced courts, track and
field facilities, baseball diamonds and stadiums, certain special areas
are needed for outdoor classes and recreational use. These include
apparatus areas for both elementary and secondary school levels,
archery ranges, golf areas and horseshoe courts.
Apparatus Areas for the Elementary School
Provisions for apparatus areas should be made in the overall
planning of the school outdoor area. The apparatus offers constant
challenge to boys and girls to learn by doing. Strong, healthy, and
well-coordinated bodies are the result of grasping, climbing, and
swinging on these teaching aids.
The areas should be near the school building to save time in move-
ment, but far enough away to eliminate disturbance of other classes
by excessive noise. They should be well drained and free from ridges
and pits. Shade is highly desirable. An area of from 5,000 to 10,000
square feet should be sufficient for either the primary or intermediate
The danger of injury to children using this type of equipment can
be minimized by: 1) fencing the area with chain link fencing or
carefully selected shrubbery (free of thorns and sharp points);
2) providing adequate spacing between pieces of apparatus; and
3) providing sand, sawdust or other soft surfaces under and around
each piece of apparatus. Open areas can be surfaced with grass,
stabilized soil, a bituminous compound or concrete.
Equipment which might be provided for kindergarten and pri-
mary grades areas includes: jungle gyms; sand boxes; large wooden
boxes (4' square and 2' to 3' high constructed of boards 1" thick);
ramps; benches; tables; swings with safety seats; low horizontal
boards (21/' high) ; teeters; and large pipes (for climbing through).
Equipment for intermediate grades areas might include: climbing
ropes (1" diameter 8' to 10' in height); swings; horizontal bars (at
3', 4', 5', and 6' heights); teeters; jungle gyms; slides and balance
beams. Traveling rings, giant strides, monkey rings, merry-go-
rounds and horizontal ladders are pieces of apparatus that are of
value and interest to this age group; however, they require constant
Provision should be made to eliminate the danger from children
using apparatus at times when the area is unsupervised. Some pieces
of apparatus (such as swings) can be provided with locks, but fencing
the.area and providing gates that can be locked is probably the most
satisfactory method of protecting school officials from responsibility
in case of injuries.
Apparatus Areas for the Secondary School
The secondary school apparatus area should include a rope for
climbing, horizontal bars and parallel bars. These should be placed
near the gymnasium, but away from other playing areas for safety
reasons. Isolated spots, of from 1,000 to 2,000 square feet that are
not in use, are very satisfactory for this apparatus. Low bars (for
vaulting) should be placed at a height of 3', and high bars should
be of at least two heights to serve both short and tall pupils. The
number of high bars and ropes for climbing will be determined by
the number of pupils to be served; however, a minimum of two is
suggested. One set of parallel bars will serve most schools.
The length of the range varies from 30 yards to 100 yards, with
an additional 25 yards behind the targets free from such obstructions
as trees and rocks which might break the arrows that fall wide of
the target. The width of the range will depend upon the number of
targets used at one time. It is recommended that targets be placed
no less than 5 yards apart and that a space of about 15 yards be
provided on each side of the outside targets.
The surface of the range should be fairly level. Surfaces may be
grass or loam. The range should be located in little-used areas of
the school site, and enclosed with fencing or shrubbery to eliminate
the danger of non-participants being struck with arrows.
It is more satisfactory if the golf instruction area can be used
exclusively for that purpose. However, it is not difficult to arrange
the layout on a football field or general playing field area.
It is possible to locate three holes within a 100 yard field in such
a way that there will be one long and two short holes.
Several putting greens can be placed at the ends or edges of the
field, so they will not interfere with team play. Since grass greens
require considerable maintenance and are rather expensive, it is sug-
gested that sand greens be used. The putting area should be at least
30' in diameter with the sand 2" to 5" deep and contained by a 4" to
7" retaining curb. The sand should be mixed with crude oil and a
small amount of clay, then leveled and rolled with a regular golf
green type roller. The surface can be kept level for putting by using
a short piece of board with a handle attached as a tamp when the
surface becomes loose.
Cup holes can be made of tin cans approximately 41/4" in diameter.
The ordinary oil can will suffice. The cans should be evenly cut
around the rim and set two inches below the level of the green
surface. Lacquered bamboo poles with home-made flags attached
at the top will serve for hole markers.
Sand traps should be located in the corners of the field, and should
be composed of builders sand to a depth of 2' to 3' with a 1' rim.
The size of the trap will vary with the space available.
Driving cages are inexpensive to make, and help solve the space
problem. A very satisfactory cage is made with a frame of 2" pipe
12' high, 20' deep and 12' wide, covered with 1" chicken wire on the
sides and on the top, with sacking, burlap or canvas at the target end.
The pipe should be set in concrete.
It is recommended that the area for each court should be 10' x 50',
which will allow a space of 2' behind each pitcher's box. The distance
of the pitch is 40' for men and 30' for women, measured between the
stakes at either end of the court.
Pitcher's boxes must be 6' square and constructed of a frame of
wooden joists filled with clay or similar material to a depth of 6".
The frame should be sunk flush with the ground surface except at
the front end, where it must extend approximately 1" above the
The stakes must be of iron or steel 1" in diameter placed in the
center of the box, and must extend 12" above the surface of the
pitcher's box, with an incline of 3" toward the stake at the opposite
end of the court.
Courts should be laid out in batteries of not less than 3 courts
(for teaching purposes) with a 10' space between courts, and an al-
lowance of 10' on each side of the outside courts. The horseshoe
area should be enclosed with fencing or hedges to eliminate the
danger of non-participants being struck with a shoe.
Evaluation and Recommendation
In production of this material an effort has been made to present
ideas pertinently and concisely. This effort may have resulted in
omission of details that perhaps should have been included. It was
the consensus of the participants and their consultants, however,
that some part of the usefulness of the bulletin would be impaired
by extended discussion of details.
While the bulletin may lack something in comprehensiveness, its
content is as nearly accurate and factual as the group could make it.
Information and advice were explored for their sources and tested
Unquestionably needs will require new definitions and certainly
new ideas will be developed as school people, architects, and engineers
participate in the rather extensive building program which currently
is under way in Florida. In response to emerging needs, we may
confidently anticipate improved ways of arranging, designing, and
constructing physical education facilities.
It is strongly recommended that steps be taken by the Depart-
ment of Education to keep the problem of facilities for physical edu-
cation under continuing study. Moreover, it is recommended that
current findings be channeled to the field for contemporary or future
use by those who have responsibilities for administration of the pro-
I. Introduction ...------..-------------------- ---- --- ----- 9
Purpose of the Bulletin ... .---------- ---------. 9
Plan of the Bulletin ----------- .----------- ----- 9
Need for Physical Education Facilities.... ------- 10
Elementary Physical Education Program -------------... 10
Secondary School Physical Education Program 11
II. Preliminary Planning..--------------------- 14
Parties Involved in Planning -------- 14
The Planning Process ------------- ..-----------------. 14
Determination of the Educational Program-- 14
The Ascertainment of Outcomes ------- ----------- 14
The Development of the Educational Program .- 15
Development of a Master Plan ----- 15
Selection of an Architect ------- 15
Site Selection -_ __. --...------------------- ---------- 16
Preliminary Architectural and Engineering Studies-- 16
Study of the Master Plan --.-...------------------- 16
Study of the School Program -..----------------. 17
Preliminary Designs ..-------------.-- .-------- 17
Cost Estimates ------------------- --- 17
Revision of Preliminary Design ------- 17
The Role of the Physical Education Teacher ----- 18
Ascertaining Community Goals and Needs -- 18
Developing the Program ---------------------- .- 18
Providing Information for the Architect .------------- 18
III. Site Selection and Development ----..----------....---------- 19
Site Selection ------------- -... .---------------- ------- 19
Location ------ ---------------------- ----------- ------ 19
Size ----.------.----------- ------------- 19
Cost -- ---. ...---------- -- ---------------- 20
Topographical and Soil Conditions ----- 20
Score Forms ----- ...------------- 20
Site Development ..- -------------------- 21
General Considerations -___. ...------------------...- 21
Location and Orientation of Buildings --- 21
Driveways and Service Entrances ---- 21
Parking Areas ----.. .-- ----.------------ 21
W always _--__- ...------- ......--
Marginal Areas --- -----...
Areas Near Buildings ------
Utility Lines --- -.--- ----.__.-
Areas Near Bodies of Water
Landscaping and Planting -..---.--
Soils .--- -----
Grass -----------------_ ---------.
Trees, Shrubs and Vines .-..
.---- ----- -- -. .. 22
-_-.....-------I.. ..- ... 22
-.. ---- ---.-.... .... ...- 2 2
---- -- ...----.... 22
.---.-.--_ -----_-_ 22
........ .. ...... 2 2
........----...........-- .......__ 22
-.--. --... -. ....-.. ........ .. 223
. ....._.. .. -.-. ... ..- 25
IV. Shower and Dressing Facilities
Locker Rooms ---
Entrances --- .-----------
Locker Systems -----------
Floors --.--.------------- .-
Lighting -._-.. _....--_-- _
Heating and Ventilation_
Shower Rooms ---------.. .
Size --. --_-- --- ---------. -
Entrances --- ---...----.
Types of Shower Systems
Types of Showers ----..... ..--..-
Floors and Walls .---- -- --------
Lighting and Ventilation ---- --
Toilet Rooms ..----- ----
Floors and Walls --.-------..
Ventilation and Lighting.-.- --.---
Storage Rooms for Equipment.
Current Storage Room ---.... -
------------------- ------------ 35
.... ... 36
---___. .- 36
.--... .._ 36
...---- -. 37
Storage Room for Equipment not in Current Use
Office Space ---------.- -... --------..--...
Instructors' Dressing Units---- .
Conference Rooms .----------------- -..--.
Storage for Custodial Supplies ....- ---.-
Team Dressing Rooms ..---
Special Areas ..--- -----_--------...-....
V. Swimming Pools and Bathing Places ...
Swimming Pools ..___.---- __--........ ___
Location -..- --......
Size and Shape .....--------.....--_.
Types ... .....- ....
Construction -----.-- .
Painting -..-------------------------.-._ ....._
Spectator Area ---_.. -- -.._ .....-- .- ...._-
Bathing Places ....... -------- ----.. -...-._
Spray-Wading Pools ----------- ----------..
VI. Indoor Play Areas.. --- -- -
The Gymnasium -----------..
Orientation ----.------------------- -
Structure ...-- -------------- -.
Walls -.. ........------------- .
Entrances and Exits ......--------
Stairways and Ramps .-----------
Heating, Lighting and Ventilation.
Service Areas of the Gymnasium _
Storage Room ..-- -------
Toilet Facilities ------...-------
Main Lobby ---------------------
Custodial Room -----------------
Auxiliary Teaching Room----
Elementary Play Room ..--- --
-- --- 45
------.-... .------- 46
-.--..........--- --- 46
....-...-.- ...-- ...---- 46
..-...... ....-- -- 47
.----- --...-_-..-.- 47
----_ -- 48
-_._- -- --- 50
-.-..----.....--- .-.. 50
.......-.._ .-.. ..----.-. 51
---- ._--- 52
VII. Outdoor Play Areas .---------- 53
Landscaping of Outdoor Play Areas ---- 53
Trees and Shrubbery. --- ----- 53
Grasses --------------- 54
Fencing of Play Areas. --------- 54
Lighting of Outdoor Play Areas 55
Playing Fields ....-.....----- ...-------------.-----..---.. 56
Location and Orientation --------- 56
Size --- ---------- 56
Hard-Surfaced Courts ----.-- ------ 58
Tennis Courts-- ---------- 59
Handball Courts------------- 59
Shuffleboard Courts ------ -- 60
All-Purpose Courts --------- 60
Stadium and Bleachers--------- 60
Playing Areas ------------ 61
Seating --------------- 62
Service Facilities -------- 62
Track and Field Facilities----------------------- 63
The Running Track -------- 63
Field Events Facilities ----------------------- 64
Baseball Diamonds ----------- 65
Special Areas ------------ -------- 66
Apparatus Areas for the Elementary School -- 66
Apparatus Areas for Secondary Schools..----------- 67
Archery Ranges .-------------------... -.- __ 67
Golf Areas.------------ ........----------------------6.. 68
Horseshoe Courts -. ---------------- .. 68
Evaluation and Recommendation --..----------------- 69