Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

Community Learning Campus (CLC), Olds, Alberta, Canada

Exemplary design categories: art and design facilities, community use and involvement, integrated services, library/media/resource centre, school/community regeneration, sporting facilities, technology rich, vocational facilities

How the facility meets the needs of education and communities:
The goals of this project were to help high school students make a seamless transition to the workplace, trades, apprenticeships, college or university through college and community partnerships, providing equal opportunities for all learners, regardless of age and training. It also sought to provide a platform for community members and industry to continue learning and promote leadership and sustainability of rural communities. Integrated with the Olds College Campus, CLC is composed of a Fine Arts & Multi Media Centre, Bell eLearning Centre, Ralph Klein Health & Wellness Centre/Core Olds High School and the Chinook’s Edge bus maintenance and mechanics training facility. It also contains numerous College facilities such as the trades training shops, research labs, and learning resource centre. A series of centralised streets around separate structures create a walkable cold climate campus, and all students can access the College Learning Resource centre and trades area. The Bell eLearning Centre provides the technological hub and industry partnerships to link Olds and twelve other communities to a world network of distributed learning. Time tables change to allow integration of combined college and High School learning opportunities, and classrooms are reduced and student learning Quads expand to support differentiated instruction. High school students are paired with a teacher over two years, providing project-based learning in a quad teaching system so that students can focus on their individual learner pathway. Through professional development, educators are able to explore new instructional methodology integrating high end technologies and project based inquiry teaching strategies to prepare the way. Educators have received technology coaching (learning management systems, electronic portfolios, interactive whiteboards and high definition video conferencing) as part of their practice and training on specific technologies, such as learning management systems, electronic portfolios, interactive whiteboards and high definition video conferencing.

Involvement of users and the local community in the planning and design process:
Extensive public involvement helped shape the Community Learning Campus concept through participation in visioning sessions, design charrettes, and public meetings that captured the imagination of the community and government. The result is a series of programs enhancing formal partnerships with the Town of Olds, Mountain View County, and the University of Alberta creating a foundation that attracted private industry, voluntary community and health organisations and children’s services. The planning process extended to the governance structure, which strategically fosters continued interaction and innovation through defined member’s roles and responsibilities.

Activity Areas: Bell e-Learning Centre, student leadership area, Olds College Students Association, video conferencing/collaboration rooms, technology commons, Olds College Alumni Centre, Olds College Learning Resource Centre Fine Arts & Multi Media Centre, 390-seat theatre, performing arts area, visual arts area, stained glass studio, band area, Central Alberta Child & Family Authority (18 offices and various intake/observation/therapy rooms), Integrated Career Centre (consists of Alberta Employment & Immigration, Chinooks Edge School Division & Olds College, and 9 offices and various intake and meeting rooms), Ralph Klein Health & Wellness Centre (contains fitness area, running track, two multi-purpose spaces, wrestling area, 3 station gymnasium, child-minding, leased Space, consisting of 2 food kiosks and medical clinic area), Olds High School (8 classrooms, 2 flexible learning areas, 4 learning quads, 4 breakout rooms, special needs room, domestic foods room, fashion room, science park consisting of two classrooms and science lab, high school administration area consisting of administration reception, 3 offices, work room, text book storage area, staff room and conference room).

Project costs: CDN 65,286,361.00

Source: Submitted to OECD for "Designing for Education: Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities 2011" in 2010

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User perspectives (1)

“The CLC is an extraordinary environment for all learners. From the beginning as community was engaged to plan for the CLC, it was apparent that this was a new approach to learning that would allow community members access to facilities previously reserved for students only. In practice, the facilities are used on a daily basis by members of the community as they attend functions in the TransCanada Theatre, enjoy the benefits of an extensive health and wellness facility and equipment and access government services such as Child and Family Services and Alberta Works. The high school students and teachers are able to engage in 21st Century learning in room configurations that allow for individual study and small group and large group collaboration. All rooms are enabled with the appropriate technology, furniture and equipment. The quads in the core high school have radically changed the way education is delivered. For college students the addition of high end technologies and a health and well facility and fine arts centre has enriched their college experience.”
Dr. Dorothy Negropontes, Assistant Superintendent, Chinook’s Edge School Division.

Images (5)

Drawings (4)

Community Learning Campus Floor Plans (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: Group2 Architecture Engineering Ltd
Community Learning Campus Cross Sections (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: Group2 Architecture Engineering Ltd
Community Learning Campus Location Plan (Registration required)
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Credit: Group2 Architecture Engineering Ltd
Community Learning Campus Furniture Plans (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: Group2 Architecture Engineering Ltd