This project is one of two new community pilot schools awarded to Maple Reinders and constructed for the Calgary Board of Education. The school is a two-storey core design and has a durable exterior finish. It is in a densely populated suburban area and has a capacity of 900 students.
The design is unique to Calgary and incorporates precast wall panels, pre-fabricated wood framed walls, cross-laminated timber (CLT) and large glulam beams and columns which both support the structure and are architectural features. A cross-laminated decking system carries the second floor.
The architectural features highlight the wood throughout and the natural light coming into the school is paramount. There is also a large curtain-wall at the learning commons and sky lights above the atrium on the second floor adding more natural light into the student gathering area on the first floor. The precast panels contain embedded electrical devices and structural elements to facilitate rapid onsite construction. With a design this original, the coordination involved between subtrades, contractor and consultants has been extensive. Maple Reinders also procured all the wood required for the construction. The exterior consists of exposed precast, brick, split faced block and Hardi-board panels.
With two schools being built simultaneously, within a 3-km radius, Maple Reinders faced some unique challenges. Trades were required on both schools, which could have caused a manpower crunch when both schools hit simultaneous milestones. However, the flexibility and experience of the Maple Reinders’ team on these projects was crucial to keeping both of them on track and in keeping the Owners satisfied.
The Dr. Martha Cohen school is targeting LEED® Silver designation.
This project included a two-storey 34,300 SF expansion to the existing school, including a new wing with eight new classrooms, a new gymnasium with a suspended running track, four new change rooms, fitness area, aerobics and wrestling studio, a gym foyer area, and a new elevator in the existing atrium.
The construction of the school took place while the existing Westbrook School (built in 1953) was in use for an entire school year. The contract included abatement and demolition of the existing school which was undertaken during the summer break.
Maple Reinders was contracted to Design-Bid-Build a 35,000 SF curvilinear building, which included operable windows, a raised access floor with personal air control devices, flow-through air pattern circulation; as well as warm and inviting interior finishes to add to the level of human comfort for occupants.