Garth Webb Secondary

 / Grounds

Priscilla Ladouceur / Hossack & Associates Architects

Garth Webb Secondary
The windows within the stairwells frame views of the outdoor pedestrian path circular link and the athletic fields beyond.

“We took the opportunity to link these public and school areas to create a dynamic space that reaffirms the school’s value to the community.”

Priscilla Ladouceur, Principal

After 10 years of vacancy, the school site was developed with a football & soccer field surrounded by a rubberized track.  The school property adjoins a community park with two lit professional soccer fields, a baseball diamond, playground and creek with walking trails.  We took the opportunity to link these public and school areas to create a dynamic community space.

Even though it is not an urban site, it is a local school where many students walk to school and enter from various directions.  Pedestrian linkages along the ‘desire lines’ were anticipated for students, and these create interesting junction points.  There is a lot of criss-crossing through the grounds with tree-lined sidewalks and unit paved paths.  Given the setting, we tried to keep the site as green as possible, mitigating concern for residents used to looking out on an open field by building up the land between the school and the homes and planting trees.

Our focus was really on the student areas of the school and creating outdoor spaces they wanted to spend time in and develop those ever so important relationships and memories. Connecting the inside and outside lowered common area is an effort to communicate to students the importance of thinking of their school not just as a building sitting on a lot; but as a complex carved into the ground and connected with the exterior;  all working together to become a happy place.  Now we just have to wait for the newly planted trees to grow a little bigger.