Special Olympics Massachusetts trains coaches and athletes in 27 different sports and hosts 126 events per year. The staff had been working out of a building in Danvers, with spillover employees in rented space across the street. For training, the situation had been nothing short of makeshift.
Now, with the Yawkey Sports Training Center, the group is training coaches but also collaborating with the University of Massachusetts Medical School on a curriculum for medical professionals and medical students to improve the quality and accessibility of healthcare for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
The prominent architectural feature of the building is a two-story glass curtainwall, which rises above the Walkway of Champions at the main entrance. The focal point of the building’s main lobby is SOMA’s Hall of Fame. This space highlights the accomplishments of the athletes, coaches and volunteers who work to achieve SOMA’s athlete-centered mission.
The design of the building allows for maximum flexibility for classroom training, sports-specific training and business-related functions. State-of-the-art technology was installed in several meeting and conference rooms to support a broad range of instructional approaches, including teleconferencing. The variety of meeting spaces and the technology significantly improves SOMA’s capacity to provide comprehensive training for its athletes, coaches and volunteers. It further utilizes automated controls for both security and mechanical systems.