Waterloo Region District School Board

WRDSB Avenue Road Public School

The WRDSB retained LGA Architectural Partners to design a new 20,000-sf addition to the existing school and to design strategic interior renovations to the gym, library and front office to accommodate the additional student load. The classrooms in a new Grades 7-8 wing connect students to the world around them. The transparency of this wing enables children to see their peers studying and playing, which is key to developing empathy and understanding. Being able to see into classrooms is a useful tool as well for the principal, who can walk the hallways for 30 minutes and get a rich sense of what’s happening.

 

We added flexible work spaces by creating learning pods within the in-between space between classrooms and the hallway. Benches and niches offer gathering places for students and staff. Even lockers were an opportunity to draw connections, by using colour to connect spaces. Above each locker is a pin-up board allowing students’ work to be showcased—a low-cost solution to bringing character and community into the school. There’s also an acoustical benefit.

 

The addition also created a courtyard that became the new location for the kindergarten playground.

The new wing features sun shading overhangs for the new classroom windows to reduce summer heat gain. The corridors have been configured so that they receive extensive natural light. The construction was phased to allow the existing school to function normally during the entire construction period; interior renovations were completed over two summer recesses.

WRDSB Tait Public School

This project incorporates a one-storey addition containing four Full-Day Kindergarten classrooms, two regular classrooms with a shared pod, a new gym, and a reoriented main entry/office suite. To assist with the transition for students and parents, we highlighted the new entry with a checkered office block that tucks playfully under an embracing canopy. Each classroom is assigned a colour that extends from the interior corridor through the FDK classrooms, and out to the play area. We worked closely with the Principal and the Board to provide communications tools that would help reorient families to their newly transformed school. To minimize disruptions to the operations of this occupied school, we proactively identified potential concerns, such as the impact winter construction might have on schedule or quality. This approach enabled us to collaborate with the general contractor to ensure that issues were addressed and resolved well before they could have an impact on budget or schedule.

WRDSB Elgin & Coronation Public School

The WRDSB retained LGA to design classroom additions at Elgin Street Public School and Coronation Public School. The classrooms will accommodate the new full-day learning program for Junior & Senior Kindergarten students.

Elgin Street Public School added three new Kindergarten classrooms onto a school constructed in the 1990s, creating an L-shaped Kindergarten wing that forms a sheltered play area for the young students. The playground side is animated with a grid of colour and windows based on the proportions of the existing window system. Inside the classrooms are zones for various activity types, such as a storytime area and a quiet play nook, which are differentiated using splashes of colour and windows framing views.