June 2021

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94 | J U N E 2 0 2 1 Shas Ti Kelly Road Secondary School P H OTO G R A P H Y BY M A RT I N T E SS L ER /CO U RT E SY H C M A A RC H I T EC T U R E + D E S I G N SHAS TI KELLY ROAD SECONDARY SCHOOL by LAURIE JONES S ince 1961, generations of students in Prince George, B.C., attended the Kelly Road Secondary School in their daily routine. But with addi- tions in 1963, 1965, 1966, 1969, 1978 and 1992, the building was long-overdue for an overhaul, and so in 2017 the prov- ince and School District #57 committed to replace the aging facility, with con- struction starting in July 2018. Completed for the school open- ing in 2020, the Shas Ti Kelly Road Secondary School was a community endeavour. "The school engaged the community, teachers, and staff for the detailed design of spaces," says Nino Maletta, general manager, capital projects for School District #57. "The school's layout and concept are similar to another secondary school previ- ously built in the school district." Maletta explains the name change to Shas Ti Kelly Road Secondary School is in recognition of the local Lheidli T'enneh First Nation; Shas Ti means grizzly trail in the Dakelh dialect, which is incorporated throughout the school. Craig Lane, architect at HCMA Architecture + Design says there is a significant difference between the old school layout and the new school. "The previous school was somewhat of a maze. Once we reconfigured the teaching spaces for the new school, the footprint is now a much more efficient use of space while supporting the same student population." The current enrol- ment is 736, with a capacity of 900. Significant consideration of school placement went into the design, with input from teachers, students, and neighbourhood residents in an area called The Hart. "We wanted to capi- talize on the sun angles and capture natural views and daylight, which are so important in the northern loca- tion," says Lane. "The school was surrounded on two sides by some fairly untouched forest so the design takes advantage of that. It's also important in northern regions to offer protection from the cold, including a good envelope, so we provided as com- pact a building as possible." One major part of the school's infrastructure is a geothermal system that was installed in the entire length of a soccer field on the north side of the school. Key to the design of the school is a central atrium that rises three sto- reys, with both clerestory and large skylighting to provide as much light as possible. "On the north side of the atrium is a cedar feature wall designed to be a topographic map of Prince George, showing the Nechako and Fraser rivers, and a red LED light on the wall to indicate where the school is in reference to the city," he explains. He adds acoustic treatment in the atrium includes fabric covered pan- els at the upper level of the room; the entire ceiling is a white fabric with sound batts above. Aside from the atrium, there is a network of secondary gathering areas. Some have views inward to the atrium and some have views out- ward. They act as breakout spots, or cross curricular spaces that are adapt- able and collaborative. "The Learning Commons, or library, opens fully into the atrium so the students' movement can flow back and forth," says Lane. "Between some of the classrooms there are clear, sliding glass partitions that allow classes to be combined." Kirk Starr, project manager at Yellowridge Construction Ltd. says on the south side of the building, both levels are classrooms. "The centre includes the atrium and on the west side is the learning commons library, and auto, metal and wood workshops. At the east end of the school is the arts area, including a music room and a theatre with seating built on a concrete structure and the stage on ground level." Adjacent to the west wall of the gymnasium is a large fitness room with glass walls looking into the gym. As with many school projects, the Shas Ti Kelly Road Secondary School was built during regular class times. "The actual build took approximately two years, and at times we had three feet of snow on the slab," says Starr. "The coldest temperature we had was minus 38 degrees and we were not closed up at the time, so there wasn't much we could do." In order to develop the unique aspects of this school, the right mate- rials were used in the right areas, says Brett Halicki, engineer of record at Bush Bolman & Partners. "The class- room blocks use a composite long span metal deck that erects fast," he explains. "It was an efficient use of concrete, which minimizes materi- als and costs. But that only works with good architectural planning to accom- modate limitations of the framing consistent load paths. The architect did a great job to develop a layout that didn't compromise the functionality of the classrooms and accommodated the structural system." A LOCATION: 7504 Kelly Road, Prince George, B.C. OWNER /DEVELOPER School District #57 (Prince George) ARCHITECT HCMA Architecture + Design GENER AL CONTR ACTOR Yellowridge Construction Ltd. STRUCTUR AL CONSULTANT Bush Bohlman & Partners LLP MECHANICAL CONSULTANT Falcon Engineering Inc. ELECTRICAL CONSULTANT NRS Engineering Ltd. L ANDSCAPE ARCHITECT Lazzarin Svisdahl Landscape Architects TOTAL SIZE 105,000 square feet TOTAL COST $30 million Lazzarin CJ Excavating.indd

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