Education, Sport

Bill Crothers School for Athletics

Markham, Canada

This unique $36M facility addresses the needs of high performance athletes, as well as those students pursuing a life-style regimen based on a healthy, active lifestyle.  The 1800 students attending this 220,000 sf school are supported by extensive athletic facilities that include three double gymnasiums, varsity calibre training facilities, plyometrics and aerobics studios, coaching centre and physiology labs.  Exterior facilities include an 8-lane synthetic surface track, artificial turf football field and soccer fields capable of hosting provincial calibre events within the 30-acre site.  The “Healthy” mandate goes beyond simply physical activity and includes a concern for environmental quality and the health of the wider environment - thus a LEED Silver rating has been achieved from CaGBC for this project.  Phase 2 master planning of the project includes a 218,000 s.f. expansion on multiple levels, which could include a 50m aquatic facility capable of hosting national events, as well as a large field house containing practice and training facilities for athletes of all levels. (in association with Rossetti)


York Region District School Board


220,000 s.f.
4 Storey Facility


LEED Silver Rating
6 Practice/Competitive Gyms
Varsity Weight Room
Aerobics/Fitness Room
Plyometrics Studio
Science & Physiology Labs
Classrooms/Lecture Rooms
Grades 9 – 12

Sustainable Features

  • Restoring the naturalized Rouge River bank
  • Retention of storm water for irrigation of sports fields
  • Greening the site as well as using permeable and high reflectance paving materials
  • Located near the Unionville GO station and the provision of bicycle parking promotes transportation choice
  • Targeting energy savings of 40% below National Model Energy Code
  • Local and high recycled content materials specified throughout the project
  • Low VOC and rapid renewable materials
  • Natural daylight and operable windows provided to all inhabited areas of the building


  • Excellence in Design and Functional Planning and Innovative Solutions to Programming Challenges, John Shaw Awards, CEFPI
  • Design Leadership, Markham Urban Design Awards
  • Citation Award, Design Share School Construction News
  • Regional Citation Award, Canadian Society of Landscape Architects


  • Training Ground” Ian Chodikoff, Canadian Architect, Jan 2011
  • ZAS Architects” Christina Pellett, Canadian Builders Quarterly, July/Aug 2010
  • “Where future athletes are shaped” Rhys Phillips, Building Canada, Aug/Sept 2009
  • “Bill Crothers Secondary School” Angela Altass, Award Magazine, April 2009
  • “Bill Crothers Secondary a school unlike any other” David Grossman, The Star, Sept 2008
  • “Love of Learning Through Sports” Paul Stevens & Peter Duckwork-Pilkington, OASBO, Fall./ Winter 2008
  • “ZAS Architects design Bill Crothers Secondary School to foster academic excellence” Patricia Williams, Daily Commercial News, 2008