Moving into the new Elementary facility this past January has provided our community of students, educators and families with truly unique opportunities. The professional learning that our faculty embraced during the past years served us well as we transitioned from more traditional classroom spaces to a learning community model of education.
Learning happening everywhere
Our new inspiring facilities support teaching and learning at STS, and will meet the current and future needs of our students. The new stimulus-rich spaces encourage student-directed, collaborative learning.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE NEW FACILITIES
What has been built:
- Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School has built a new 65,000 square foot expansion, which is being added on to existing facilities on the school’s 220-acre campus.
- The budget for the new facilities is $24-million – and has been 100% donor-funded by the STS community (parents, alumni, staff, friends), many of whom are business and community leaders in Calgary.
- Located on a 220-acre campus, 10 minutes southwest of Calgary in the Foothills, the school’s new addition was designed to embrace the surrounding mountain vista and reflect the local environment, i.e. high ceilings, open spaces, large glass walls, and materials such as Rundle stone, wood, and charcoal metal.
- The new spaces will support teaching and learning, and will meet the current and future needs of our students. The new stimulus-rich spaces will encourage student-directed, collaborative learning.
New areas constructed are:
- A new Elementary wing to welcome our youngest learners into a flexible learning environment where teaching best practice is optimized. Highlights include:
- flexible spaces to enable teachers to incorporate a wider variety of activities and better align instruction with learning styles
- bright, open, and warm spaces will enhance student comfort and increase the sense of belonging within each learning community
- Da Vinci studios that allow for innovative, creative project work that may be messy
- Expanded Fine and Performing Arts spaces to meet the creative needs of students with facilities and technology conducive to artistic expression. Highlights include:
- acoustically optimized band and choral rooms to enhance students’ musical performances
- a purpose-built drama room
- larger visual arts spaces that will allow students to work on projects over time
- small group and individual rehearsal rooms
- A new Heart of the School to create a warm welcome to our STS campus.
- Purposeful landscaping for learning to enrich educational opportunities offered by nature on our country campus.
- The design was driven by teaching and learning and reflects the input of educators and stakeholder groups.
- Careful attention was paid to ensure the design supports the school’s modern teaching style, offering innovative and functional spaces where children from K-12 can learn in hands-on, interactive ways – children will be more actively engaged in their learning.
- The design challenges the traditional notions of what a school looks like – every aspect was carefully thought of to enhance learning.
- Each learning community is self-contained and features different sizes and shapes of learning studios, from small breakout rooms suitable for a small group of students, to larger spaces that can accommodate an entire class.
- Each learning community also has “DaVinci Studios” or maker spaces, which are areas for students to do project-based learning, things with their hands, using tables, tools and technology to actually create things.
- The new building offers a fine arts facility, which includes a music room, drama room, band room, practice studios, and a large gathering stair that comes down into the middle of the arts commons to seat around 200 people for performances.
- Classrooms have strong connections to the exterior space so learning can happen inside and out – there are two dedicated outdoor classrooms, and an outdoor amphitheatre.
- Ground breaking June, 2016
- Construction completion, December 2017
- Students move-in, January 2018
- Final landscaping, playing fields, paving, and play space completion, Spring 2018
Who made this happen:
- Owner/Developer: Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School
- Architects: Fielding Nair International, Group2 Architecture Interior Design Ltd.
- General Contractor: Chandos Construction
- Structural Consultant: Entuitive
- Mechanical Consultant: TYZ Engineering Ltd.
- Electrical Consultant: Williams Engineering Canada
- Landscape Architect: O2 Planning + Design Inc.
In the news
Award – an Architecture magazine that is distributed across Canada published the following article about Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School's new facilities opening soon in the new year. Read the article on page 43:
From the Blog
Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School revealed its brand new $24-million, 100% donor-funded learning facility expansion on Friday, February 23 together with STS alumni, faculty, staff, donors and contractors.