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Deerfield Academy Athletics Complex Sports A New Look

Architectural Signage, Metro Sign & Awning  

The competition was stiff, but Metro Sign & Awning won the job. The challenge was to design and engineer a very high-end architectural sign package for the new $68 million, state-of-the-art athletics complex at Deerfield Academy in northwestern Massachusetts.

Partnering with project development giant Skanska USA-New England, our team embarked on a major upgrade to the existing facility situated on the bucolic campus. A new, three-story facility was to be added to an existing building to provide 130,000 square feet of additional space.

The centerpiece of the plan was a new 20,000-square-foot structure where every sport could be played including football, field hockey, soccer, lacrosse, volleyball, baseball and softball. The building would also have a jogging track, batting cages, exercise/yoga studios and a computerized golf simulator.

New Hockey Arena

When the school decided a new ice rink was needed as part of this project, architects responded with plans for a no-holds-barred hockey arena. Metro Sign & Awning conceived a series of photographic murals depicting the school’s surrounding hills stretched across the exit doors. The effect is not so much of leaving a hockey arena as entering the enveloping historic valley surrounding the school.

Another one of our contributions to the new hockey arena at Deerfield was a series of colorful flags sporting the names of other boarding and day schools. The banners were hung from the ceiling at the edge of the ice, ever reminding players of their coming competitions.  

Court Appointed

Deerfield Academy representatives also wanted a way to enclose six outdoor tennis courts. Permanent walls just did not comply with the overall aesthetic constraints.

Skanska, Sasaki Architects asked Metro Sign & Awning for help. Our team was able to conceive and engineer a solution. Working with the architect and general contractor, we created 36 fully automated, retractable curtains that could be opened or closed in unison.

The installation posed additional challenges. The immense size and weight ( 26’ long and over 400 pounds) necessitated the curtains be carefully craned into place and attached, all while being perfectly aligned, leveled & plumbed.  

After the installation, the mighty wind blew in. Metro responded again adding upgraded custom-built components to ensure proper operation. We continued to monitor and modify the controls until stabilization was achieved. Multiple back-up wind sensors now retract the screens if winds become too high.

Today students at Deerfield move in and out of the arena, engaging in their chosen activities. Metro Sign & Awning is proud to have had a part in shaping this amazing athletics complex.

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