Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

Trillium Centre, Lakeland Ridge School and Holy Spirit Catholic School, Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada

Exemplary design categories: community use and involvement, flexible learning settings, integrated services, vocational facilities

How the facility meets the needs of education and communities:
Trillium Centre provides a child centred physical environment that supports learning. The overall building mass is articulated to reflect the basic functional elements of the building - the two schools and the Child and Family Services Centre. The primary building façade is further articulated to reflect the individual teaching elements and the school entrances. The student entrances focus their attention on double height internal student gathering spaces that support a variety of student activities. Shared learning facilities, which include the learning resource centre, student kiosks and the career technology study facilities, are also visually connected to this gathering space. The career technology study facility and the gymnasia are centralised to function as a shared resource accessible to both schools. The classrooms are organised into age specific pods which helps to foster a shared learning environment. Shared breakout rooms are provided between each pair of classrooms to provide for the option of more flexible, group based learning environments. Two schools under one roof, sharing of gymnasium, sharing playing fields. Provides education for Catholic and public students in grades kindergarten to grades 9, provides space for community use and space for family and community service agencies. One heating plant for the total facility. Administration is centrally located at school entrances, open space around the facility.

Involvement of users and the local community in the planning and design process:
The users and local community were involved in the planning and design process with representatives on the design committee and through a number of Town Hall meetings.

Activity Areas: Holy Spirit Catholic School has 16 classrooms, science Room, art facility , foods area, music room, library, kindergarten classroom, computer lab, fashions area, career technology studies area for woods and welding programmes, gymnasium and an Administration Area. Lakeland Ridge School has 19 regular classrooms, music area, band room, library, kindergarten classroom, computer room, 2 science areas, art area, food area, fashions area, CTS (shops and design), 2 gymnasia, wellness area, and an administration area.

Project costs: CDN 21,000,000.00

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

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User perspectives (1)

The design and operation of the school has contributed much to the learning environment of its users. This is apparent in the design of the individual classrooms. All classrooms are enhanced with ample natural light and the shape of classrooms is varied but not set out as a traditional rectangle. All classrooms possess an attached ‘breakout’ room that allows for differentiated instruction to individuals or small groups. Each of these breakout rooms possesses several computer stations with printers while all classrooms are also part of the school wireless network allowing for technological learning through the two portable labs available to all students. The facility was also designed with numerous individual small instructional areas and several conference sized rooms that have adapted well to meet the needs of individual special needs students. The conference rooms are often utilized by staff to offer small group instruction or project work. One of the partners in the Trillium center complex is the Child and Family Services office. This on site location has allowed teachers, students and their families access to a wide range of resources. In addition, the classrooms in the facility have been arranged in pods of four that allows for a greater sense of ‘community’ between classrooms. This also encourages strategic planning between staff members of similar grades.
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Images (5)

Drawings (3)

Floor Plan 1 (Registration required)
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Credit: The Cohos Evamy Partners
Floorplan 2 (Registration required)
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Credit: The Cohos Evamy Partners
Site Plan (Registration required)
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Credit: The Cohos Evamy Partners