October 2019

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OCTOBER 2019 | 65 ćəsqənelə Elementary School RENDERINGS COURTESY CHP ARCHITECTS ćəsqənelə Elementary School by LAURA WALKER O pening for the 2019/2020 aca- demic year, ćəsqənelə Elementary stands as a symbol of honour to ancient local traditions and a home to 21st-century learning principals, all while providing for the future growth of the Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows School District. "The project was necessitated by the continued growth in the Albion area of Maple Ridge, B.C., which cre- ated significant enrolment pressures on elementary schools in this area," explains Irena Pochop of Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows School District. The school's name, which means "where the golden eagle gathers," was chosen by the Kwantlen and Katzie First Nation leaders – on whose tra- ditional land the school is located – honouring their language, history, and culture. "The valuable input we received during the consultation process from Kwantlen and Katzie First Nation has created deeper learning opportunities for our students by providing insight into the rich history and purpose of the land, and of those who lived on this land before the school was built," says Pochop. The one-storey, wood-framed school is clad with Hardie panels and features Galvalume metal standing seam wall and roof cladding at the gym, brick veneer on one wall of the library, and FunderMax panels at the entrances and end walls of the gym, describes Finn Madsen of Double V Construction Ltd. "The exterior design of the school reflects the input of First Nations Elders who participated in the con- sultation, while its gymnasium represents a modern rendering of traditional longhouse structures," says Pochop. The school's gymna- sium exposes large glulam columns and beams and boasts a pitched metal roof with phenolic wood cladding that gives the gesture of a warm lodge in the interior. "Collaborative and outdoor learning areas have been designed with higher roofs that are supported by steel col- umns. These columns are designed to mimic trees with branches supporting the wood beam roof structure, which imitates the large, forested riparian area surrounding the school," explains Justin Dyck of CHP Architects. Inside, materials include painted drywall, clear finished birch wall pan- elling in the common areas, linear wood panels, birch plywood and tectum panels in the gym and adjacent music and drama room, T-bar ceilings, linear wood ceilings in the sloped clerestory corridor ceilings, as well as ceramic tile walls and epoxy flooring in the build- ing's gender neutral washrooms. The school caters to current learn- ing principals through various means, including learning pods engaging students of different grades and dis- ciplines to collaborate in the learning process. "Each pod, 10 in total, has direct access to an outdoor learning area that can be utilized to expand the student's education beyond the walls of a classroom," says Dyck. Designed for high environmental performance, the school is intended to go further than the pragmatic systems of sustainability, teaching students good stewardship and environmen- tal consciousness in the process, explains Dyck. "One of the pods incor- porates sustainable features such as a photovoltaic roof angled to allow for optimum solar gain, roof rainwater col- lection and distribution to the adjacent riparian area creek via rain gardens, and passive cooling by having higher windows that automatically open to release warmer air as needed." Like any project, design and con- struction was met with ćəsqənelə Elementary, with Madsen explaining that the geotechnical consultant identi- fied several "soft" areas – underlain by a layer of blue clay – including one at the West-end of the school structure and another at the West-end of the playfield. "Pumice stone was used as fill material at the west end of the school structure to reduce the dead loads on the subsur- face soils in order to mitigate long-term settlement," says Madsen. "The West- end of the playfield was pre-loaded and monitored, and construction of the playfield was delayed until settlement had effectively stopped." The school's park-like landscaping features split rail cedar fencing, boul- ders, trees and planting, as well as a sidewalk around the north end of the building providing access to a future trail that will run through the riparian area east and north of the school building. The school offers an elegant inte- gration with nature, says Pochop. "The direct connection that the school's pods have with the out- doors provides educators with a rare opportunity to delve deeper into the importance of a respectful connection with nature. This learning opportu- nity would not be possible in a more traditional school facility." A LOCATION 24093-104th Avenue, Maple Ridge, B.C. OWNER/DEVELOPER Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows School District ARCHITECT/LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT CHP Architects GENERAL CONTRACTOR Double V Construction Ltd. STRUCTURAL CONSULTANT Bush, Bohlman & Partners LLP MECHANICAL CONSULTANT Rocky Point Engineering Ltd. ELECTRICAL CONSULTANT Jarvis Engineering Consultants Ltd. CIVIL CONSULTANT R.F. Binnie & Associates Ltd. TOTAL SIZE 54,035 square feet TOTAL COST $32 million 4:15 PM

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