A new $53.67 million Indoor Track & Field Facility at Gately Park has completed construction in Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood.
The 139,375-sf building features a 118,000-sf field house that includes a 200-meter, six-lane running track; high jump and long jump pits; pole vault, hurdle, and relay areas; throw cages; sprint lanes; concession areas; locker rooms; and seating for 3,500 spectators.
The remaining 22,000 sf includes a fitness center, multipurpose rooms for community use, Chicago Park District administrative offices, and After School Matters programming space. The After School Matters area, which was designed by Eckenhoff Saunders Architects, includes a dance and exercise studio, a full culinary teaching kitchen, gathering/performance space, a rooftop deck and garden, and multipurpose labs for art, music, science, and technology. The flexible design allows the space to convert to multiple athletic purposes and can accommodate four basketball and six volleyball courts.
The facility’s main feature is its oval track that can be banked to eliminate the centrifugal force that makes athletes lean one way or the other, allowing them to achieve their top speed. The track’s interior lane rests on a pivot and the support system underneath rests on hydraulic cylinders that are part of the actuator system that makes it possible to bank the track for a race. Depending on the length of the race, the track has as many as six preset banking angles. When not in use, all of the track’s lanes lay flat so the space can be used for additional recreation.
The building also features a column-free design as to not interfere with track and field events, which meant the fieldhouse roof was constructed with six massive, 252-foot-by-20-foot-deep barrel-vaulted, 120-ton roof trusses that span the entire width of the space.
In addition to Williams Architects, the build team also included McHugh Construction and Bowa Construction.