Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

St. Dominic Catholic High School, Confluence Campus, Alberta, Canada

Exemplary design categories: community use and involvement, flexible learning settings, integrated services, library/media/resource centre, sporting facilities, vocational facilities

How the facility meets the needs of education and communities:
Confluence Campus gives the residents of Rocky Mountain House and surrounding areas an exceptional opportunity to access a range of services and educational programs. Distance education, direct access to a local college with a comprehensive choice of programs, evening programs, sports tournaments and events, cultural functions and community programs are available. St. Dominic’s High School includes a floor to ceiling stained glass feature in the student gathering area which, when open, converts the space to a chapel. A water feature and a stained glass school crest and a stage open on to the music room in the multi-purpose student gathering area. The post-secondary emphasis of Red Deer College is evident in the state of the art library which is located in the center of the campus and showcased in floor to ceiling glass. The library has an expansive collection and research capabilities that are shared by each of the schools and is also accessible with a public library card. The interior design incorporates numerous breakout study spaces and conference rooms. This library has the capability to serve both high schools, the general public and support the adult programs offered by Red Deer College. Natural lighting, open concept and environmentally conscious design are evident throughout the facility. Key features of the design include southern exposure, windows throughout, bay doors in the wood and automotive areas, vaulted ceilings with floor to ceiling windows, patios and green spaces and Navaho Red and Arizona Sand color schemes. In addition, the lighting, materials and energy efficiency features incorporated into the design will result in cost savings of approximately CDN 2 million over 10 years. The facility was also designed to incorporate [and take advantage of] the natural landscape and is surrounded by nine acres of natural old growth forest with access to a 5 km running and walking trail.

Involvement of users and the local community in the planning and design process:
There was a strong emphasis on collaborative design with an integrated team including teachers and parents, who worked with architects to design classroom space and guiding the development of each individual area and shared space into a unique learning community.

Activity Areas: shared career and technology studies area; library; gymnasium (1500 m2, features include full industrial standard weights and workout area, two 25ft. drop screens, 21 electronic basketball hoops and numerous badminton courts. It also provides for a range of educational and community events, including provincial level tournaments, conferences and daily physical education), commercial kitchen; cafeteria (capable of serving 1000); and two video conference suites

Project costs: CDN 18,258,000.00

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

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User perspectives (1)

The facility offers much to its users. It provides more than adequate space and has very current services available. It has set a standard usually only seen in the urban settings and promotes the value of education in our town. It has elicited a sense of pride to our school culture and has played a major role in supporting our students for post-secondary. Having a college library here has again raised the bar for student and staff use and access.
Sherryl Skaalid, Principal of St. Dominic Catholic High School

Images (5)

Drawings (4)

Elevation (Registration required)
image/tiff
Credit: Group 2 Architecture Engineering Ltd.
Floorplan 1 (Registration required)
image/tiff
Credit: Group 2 Architecture Engineering Ltd.
Floorplan 2 (Registration required)
image/tiff
Credit: Group 2 Architecture Engineering Ltd.
Site Plan (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: Group 2 Architecture Engineering Ltd.