Doug Snyder, Principal
A state of the art high school in a small town is a rare occurrence. Nottawasaga Pines Secondary School (NPSS) started with a very inspired group of Senior Academic and Facility management at the Simcoe County DSB. They brought with them a legacy of cutting edge sustainable design and a keen desire to engage students and the larger community, while solving difficult geotechnical issues. The story of this project is really about what a high school can mean to a small town. The Board wanted these students to have the best of everything and in partnership with the community, we worked hard to help them achieve this.
A recent study showed that the main predictor for high school dropouts is attendance, a statistic that is increased for students in small or non urban communities. Our solution was to design a student-centred school focussed on engagement; providing a place where kids want to be and felt good being there. The main entrance opens into an atrium with key academic and athletic spaces running off this busy social hub. By locating the Cafetorium in the heart of the school, the student becomes the focus of the design.
Truly a community school, the municipality of Nottawasaga donated the land which had a rec-centre with a hockey rink, gym and field on site. The students can access these services and in exchange, we designed a library that is fully accessible to the community.
NPSS was the winner of the 2012 CEO Award for Environmental Stewardship.