A new school unites two communities.
Peter Duckworth, Principal
Southview Public Schools is a replacement school for students coming from 2 different schools: H.H. Langford and Westdale Park. The thinking behind the project began with the reality that we would be uniting these two schools; one located in a rural setting, and the other much more urban. This presented an exciting opportunity to create a dynamic and vital community hub focused on making connections; between students, staff, and their broader urban and rural communities.
Connecting was the overarching design concept for this successful school. Whether it was the layout, design of the classrooms or library, the way the building can be subdivided to serve the school and community – all came out of the concept of supporting connections and creating space that broke down barriers and brought students, staff and community together. We kept the space feeling light and open through the use of glazing both within the building as well as to the outdoors. Both informal and academic spaces like the 2-storey atrium or library, have been designed to encourage social and learning interactions.
The school is uniquely located on a former farmer’s field which allowed for a much larger site than would be typically allocated to an elementary school. The site had little access to municipal water and transportation infrastructure which meant any benefit of developing a bigger site had to be balanced with the increased cost of bringing in these services.
This was the first new build for the Limestone Board in several years and we worked collaboratively with them to develop standards for this and future schools. We brought in a well-tested, low maintenance building systems, thoughtful and innovative classroom design, sustainable site planning and a layout that offered increased safety & security but still felt open and welcoming. Despite the challenges of building on an unserviced site, and navigating the needs of 2 school communities, Southview is a great example of what can be achieved by focusing on what a student, staff and a community needs.