Nottawasaga Pines Secondary

 / Vocational


Doug Snyder / Snyder Architects

This is all a way to get kids off to a good started, engaged early and give them something they can use in the real world.

Doug Snyder, Principal

Typically a high school of 1000 students would not fit the Ministry equation for full broad based curriculum programming. But after a discussion with the Director, it was imperative that we pursue a full com-tech program to meet the needs of the students in this community who were more vocationally oriented. A productive collaborative relationship with the Board and school management explored how this vital program could better engage the student population  

We did not want the shops to be hidden away; they needed to be front and centre in the heart of the school, right off the atrium space.  Each shop is stand alone with rolling overhead doors across corridors to allow items to move easily between rooms and programs. The shop programs include manufacturing, transportation and wood shops as well as hospitality which backs up to the cafeteria. 

We created a combined design studio which served all shops yet was its own program.  To show the Boards commitment to these students, they even installed a 3-D printer to ensure kids were getting the latest technology and help them be competitive when they graduate.

We believed in building one design studio that offers the highest level of instruction instead of smaller, program specific design labs.   This allows students to graduate trained in design thinking and ready to participate in the workforce. In this case, the design of the school and our ability to co-develop and build for a curriculum philosophy resulted in higher student engagement and an efficiency of resource allocation.  

We pushed the limits on the thinking behind the Cosmetology program with the hopes of engaging more students. The idea of moving away from traditional ‘hair and nails’ and how to look after yourself, to more general ‘wellness’ thinking and how to care for others. We designed spaces that can be used for sports therapy, an exercise gym or for GeriTech training – sure to be a future career opportunity as boomers age. This is all a way to get kids off to a good start, engaged early and give them something they can use in the real world. 

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