Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

St. Peter the Apostle, Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada

Exemplary design categories: art and design facilities, furniture, library/media/resource centre, music and theatre facilities

How the facility meets the needs of education and communities:
The design objective of the school is to provide students with the latest technology and fine arts facilities to support a comprehensive choice of educational programmes including laboratories for culinary arts, residential foods and visual communications, a dedicated art room and counselling area, and facilities for design, graphic and communications. The school accommodates Catholic students in the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, and Devon areas, and will also have the technology to reach and teach students in the division’s schools in Westlock and Hinton.

The school has a higher education community feel and was designed to support the needs of students with special needs and community wrap-around services. The main gathering area for students was designed with comfort seating and an open eating concept allowing for effective supervision. Students’ art work and banners grace the walls of both floors of this school, which are designed and created through the Fine Arts and Technology Services classes.

The two-storey "design-build" school is a LEED Silver building with natural lighting throughout. It is the only Catholic high school in the province to be named in honour of St. Peter the Apostle, which will also be affectionately known as ‘The Rock’, after the scripture passage that says, “you are Peter and on this rock I will build my church”. To symbolise this there is a rock in the main entrance door of the school.

Special consideration was given in the design to:

• Designing secure washrooms with good sight lines and no blind areas;

• Planning the bussing area, which is separate from the student and teacher parking lots. It allows for safe traffic control while still maintaining easy access to entrances for students; and

• Incorporating small breakout offices for staff, as well as a PLC room for personal development.

St. Peter supports community use by hosting Volleyball camps throughout the summer months, tournaments on weekends throughout the school year, and week day community user groups during some evenings.

This project was part of a design-build contract to construct four high schools. The total value of the contract was $96.8 million CDN.

Involvement of users and the local community in the planning and design process:
The teachers of St. Peter were asked for their insight and ideas as far as design in certain areas of the school; food lab, arts class, library and gymnasium as they were introduced to the mark up of preliminary drawings and encouraged to work collaboratively in the design of their areas.

Activity Areas: Classrooms, library, gymnasium, drama and band areas, dance studio, food studies area, technology centre, including a green-screen room for movie and video production, multi-media area with the latest in technology, including a 3D printer and a professional learning community area for teachers.

Project costs: CDN 0.00

Source: Submitted by Alberta Education, January 2014

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User perspectives (1)

Evergreen School Division’s Board Chair Robert Vasseur said he believes that technological advances, including Wi-Fi throughout the high school, are vital to the modern day student and said that he is proud of what St. Peter’s can offer. “The opening of St. Peter the Apostle Catholic High School allows Evergreen Catholic Schools to accommodate enrolment growth, which has been characteristic in the area for the past 10 years,” he said. “We are looking forward to the potential the school offers students in our communities especially in the areas of diverse program offerings and advanced uses of technology that will meet the needs of the 21 Century learner.”
Spruce Grove Examiner

Images (6)

Drawings (4)

Site Plan - St. Peter the Apostle (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: Stantec Architecture Ltd.
First Floor Plan - St. Peter the Apostle (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: Stantec Architecture Ltd.
Second Floor Plan - St. Peter the Apostle (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: Stantec Architecture Ltd.
Furniture Plan (Library) - St. Peter the Apostle (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: Stantec Architecture Ltd.