Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary

Doug Snyder, Anil Gokarn / Snyder Architects

School Information
Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary
Halton Catholic District School Board
Milton, Ontario

Grades: 9-12
Students: 1350

Paula Dawson

Diane Rabenda

Giacomo Corbacio, Superintendent Facilities Services

Toni Penelli

Pat Daily

Project Details

New school building organized into a three storey academic wing and two storey sports/theatre complex connected by a centrally located Atrium space to unite the two areas and serve as the student forum space. Approx 17,750 square metre.

September 2013

Snyder Architects
Doug Snyder
Anil Gokarn

Creating Connections

Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School in Milton, Ontario, is our latest interpretation of the learner-centred school and aims to enhance meaningful social relationships in the digital age. It is organized into a three storey academic wing and a two storey sports/theatre complex united by a centrally located atrium.

Major activity areas like the cafeteria, the food school, theatre, guidance and administration areas flank the Atrium, creating a “main street” ambiance and making it the vibrant hum of the school community.

The Board’s vision is “Achieving Believing Belonging”. We applied this ethos throughout the school by featuring places that invite and engage, places for pause, places that allow passive supervision and places for outdoor learning. The school is punctuated with abundant daylight and provides visual interconnectivity throughout.

The Catholic values of community and spirituality are facilitated by the shaping of the building. Higher levels of spiritual engagement are fostered with the Atrium being focused on the Chapel. The staircases have enlarged spaces to encourage student gathering. By pulling workshop spaces, auditoriums and gyms into the heart of the school we make it easy for all students to see and participate in activities there. The magnificent views open the students to the community at large and the design welcomes community into the school to use facilities such as the theatre, gym and field house. Successful schools have a positive emotional atmosphere and we designed Jean Vanier to create this energy and to foster student and teacher engagement.