Sports magnet school
Paul Stevens, Senior Principal
This is the premier sports and athletic training facility for the York Region District School Board. The four-storey, 220,000-square-foot facility is designed for 1,600 students who follow a curriculum focused on sports and physical education, with programs relating to sports management, promotions, coaching and health sciences. For an effective design, we had to understand the challenges of site, how students would use the school now and in the future as well as how it would interact with the community—a process that was exhilarating and rewarding.
The sports fields, two artificial and one natural, are amazing. They meet international standards so they can be used for track and field events at the highest level. As you approach the school you immediately see these fields and it sets the tone for the purpose of the school. Throughout the building students can easily observe games: through windows looking into one of three the gyms; from staircases and hallway windows overlooking the playing fields; and through television and radio broadcasts in the cafeteria and the athletic forum.
The library provides a powerful counter-point to the physical nature of the school and is cantilevered over the campus as it provides an exceptional long distance view of nature and Toronto’s skyline. Crothers also has an interesting story about community engagement. The York Board and the Markham municipality worked together to share resources to make more and better athletic facilities, playing fields, riverfront trails and water treatment, for the benefit of students and the community. Technical/Facilities A LEED Silver-rated building, Bill Crothers uses 30 percent less energy than required by the Model National Energy Code. The school has an established pedestrian link to the Unionville GO Station. Formerly a golf course, the site was designed to actively improve the Rouge River’s flood plain.