Gymnasiums are typically large, shoe-box shaped rooms with 3 sets of parallel surfaces that are hard and reflective. The setup lends itself to poor quality sound, whether the room is being used for gym class, sporting events, public speakers, musicals, concerts, proms, or a host of other purposes, a space like this has to be user friendly. If the acoustics are not under control, it is not a healthy learning or listening envrionment.
Your best first step in curbing your gym noise is to gather accurate room dimensions. Those dimensions will help calculate the square foot totals of sound panels you will need to introduce into the space in order to capture enough of the echo and restore the room back to more favorable sound. Human ear cannot accept echoes that carry for longer than 2 seconds in a space, and standard gymnasiums will let noise carry for up to 10 seconds unless it is properly treated. The rule of thumb for any sound project is to collapse those echoes back to under 2 seconds, then you have a user friendly space.
The size, shape and surface textures of a gym will produce the calculation we need to quote your project. Whether the panels are in the form of perimeter wall mounted panels, typically centered around the top 1/3 of the walls in the gym, or in the form of a set of sound baffles that hang vertically between exposed joists from a ceiling, it is the rooms size that dictates the quantities you need to hit that 2 second mark.
Any sound panel that we specify for a gym will of course be class A fire rated, decorative, and abuse resistant should balls bang against them. For help in specifying your treatment, call our help desk at 1-800-638-9355 for more information. We welcome the call, and the opportunity to replicate for your gym space what we have done countless times before, stretching back more than 20 years.