West Ottawa Public Schools – New Athletic Complex

  • area / size 26,000 sqft
  • Completed 2022
  • GMB Architecture + Engineering completed the New Athletic Complex for West Ottawa Public Schools in Holland, Michigan.

    As part of a $97.9 million bond issue, West Ottawa Public Schools was looking to create a unique stadium complex for West Michigan with premier facilities for each West Ottawa sport. The district was experiencing capacity issues and programming limitations in the existing Panther Stadium, which was located at the middle school and the oldest non-renovated facility in the district. After one year of design, the plan was approved by the board and site cleanup began in fall of 2020.

    Creating a one-of-a-kind athletic complex was a main driving factor for West Ottawa, along with delivering an intimate experience for fans and athletes alike. The main, west field was designed deliberately without a surrounding track to bring the stands and field closer together. A central tunnel beneath the grandstands for the home team to enter the field to cheering fans creates an exciting, professional game experience for players and fans alike. Adding elevated fan experiences, such as a concourse level between the upper and lower sections of the home stands, bigger bleachers, and expansive concession stands and restrooms establishes a venue for multiple sports and attracts the entire community to utilize the facility. The north end zone of the west field has a dedicated section of bleachers for the band as well as a separate entrance and bleachers section for West Ottawa students. The lower deck also includes a specialized, covered section for season pass holders with stadium-back chairs, VIP parking and concession vouchers.

    There is a strong connection between the east and west fields to create an equitable experience for all stadium users, regardless of activity size. The same synthetic turf, light posts and state-of-the-art AV systems are utilized on both fields. Painted lines for both men’s and women’s lacrosse are represented across both fields for interchangeable play. Concessions and restrooms are positioned to be viewable from either field and multiple bleachers, locker rooms, and storage areas are accessible to all users.

    Top of the line AV and press box capabilities play into to the premier feel of the new complex. The main announcer booth seats 10 comfortably and is located high above the 50-yard line for the best view. The announcer booth is also flanked by a media room and coaches’ room on each side. On the back side of the press box, tall translucent panels allow natural light to fill the space while blocking glare and excessive heat.

    Design: GMB Architecture + Engineering
    Construction Management: GDK Construction Co.
    Photography: M-Buck Studio