Breaking New Ground
We are committed to investing in our students – both in the way we teach and also by providing an innovative workspace in which they can learn. We are excited that construction is slated to get underway this summer at Hamilton District Christian High, continuing our efforts to provide exceptional learning for every student.
Our two-story Phase 1 of school renewal is a student-focused initiative that will incorporate a unique mix of nature and innovation, which will combine active learning areas and informal natural spaces where students can connect, collaborate and learn.
The design has been very purposeful and includes a retractable wall that will adapt gathering spaces to best serve students’ needs.
- Campfire spaces will allow students to meet in the round, listen and interact as a group.
- Collective spaces will provide a comfortable place for small groups to collaborate with easy access to technology.
- And caves, or smaller alcoves, provide spaces for quieter study and reflection.
This environment will allow students and adults to intersect in ways more meaningful than just inside the walls of a classroom. This building will also engage the neighbouring community by offering spaces on both levels to welcome service groups, workshops, and events.
Indoor Living Tree
The focal point of this renewal project will be a grand, two-story, mature tree living inside this space. The treetop and new living roof will enhance the beautiful vista on the upper level while serving as a reminder of growth and the vast possibilities of the world outside.
Heavy timber will be used Instead of steel in much of the construction. Timber has many advantages, as a renewable building resource, as a connection to creation and our tenets of faith.
Large areas of pebbled and clear glass will provide natural light and heating while bringing the outdoors inside and connecting students to the environment around them.
Outside, drought-resistant,- native plants will lead to a sculpted bioswale. These natural filtering plants connecting to the ravine in the back and flowing into the conservation area will be an opportunity for hands-on discovery for our students and our community.
Working collaboratively with local Architect Drew Hauser at McCallum Sather Architects, this will be the first significant addition in a while. Construction costs are estimated at $1.2-$1.4 million for the first phase of renewal. With $750,000 currently raised, and another $250,000 pledged, we are confident that students joining us in September 2015 will be able to enjoy the new space.
We are blessed to be a part of such an exciting initiative of school renewal in our community. We will continue to provide updates with images and drawings of the plans as we get closer to breaking ground and encourage you to share the news as we become poised for exceptional learning in the decades ahead.
This article by Nathan Siebenga originally appeared in the Winter 2015 issue of Connections.