State-of-the-art gym -
A showpiece for growing school.

ACG School / Tauranga

The Project

The state-of-the-art gymnasium complex is the latest step in the development of the successful Academic Colleges Group (ACG) school at Pyes Pa in Tauranga.

It gives the school a showpiece that is pivotal to its future growth.

“The school wanted a high-performing building and we delivered,” Babbage Consultants project architect Charlotte Saunders said.

Babbage has worked with ACG from the outset of its Tauranga project as the group set about developing a school that will eventually cater for students from primary through to Year-13.

The relationship began with the Babbage architectural team and supporting disciplines planning and designing the initial 14-classroom development for junior pupils in 2014. The school concept called for modular design with flexibility to adjust classroom use as required.  

That brief continued with the gymnasium, which includes three classrooms that can be converted into a function space, while the gym itself can be used for school assemblies and other activities, and will be available for community use.

“We had to be extremely economical in our use of space,” Charlotte said.

“There’s not a millimetre wasted – there’s no corner that can’t be used.

“There are no trims or fiddly little spaces. Everything needed to be highly durable, low-maintenance, and stand the test of time.”

The building was finished in May, 2017, 10 months after work started and in spite of the contractors losing five weeks to abysmal weather.

The Design

The gym consists of a full-size court area for basketball, netball, volleyball and badminton, with bleachers on both sides rising from mezzanine level above changing rooms, plant rooms and storage areas.

The upper floors provide three classrooms that can be converted into a function space overlooking outdoor playing fields and the indoor court.

Inside the gym, each end wall is clad with perforated plywood panels, used for their acoustic properties and to conceal and protect louvers that allow natural ventilation. The double-glazing has a grey tint on the outer glass to reduce glare and solar gain.

The ceiling comprises fibre acoustic tiles and parallel areas of plywood panels, giving the gymnasium precise acoustics. The classrooms have acoustic walls that can be moved to create the function area.

Maximum use has been made of natural ventilation and light, and a building management system includes sensor-controlled lights, security and keyless entry.

Key details


ACG School gymnasium
Academic Colleges Group
Pyes Pa, Tauranga
May 2017

Project team

Charlotte Saunders,
Maria Ouzounova
Building Services
Aslam Javed,
Ivan Loh
Xavier Lim
Malcolm Stapleton,
Mastufa Al-Haidar
Mike Martin