Regina Architecture Firm Wins Prestigious Award for Educational Design

Regina Architecture Firm Wins Prestigious Award for Educational Design

A Regina public school was recently recognized at the Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI) Pacific North West Conference, held for the first time in Regina. Arcola Community School was awarded the People’s Choice Award, the only award for design, at the conference that represented the north western United States, Alaska, Hawaii, British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. The school was designed by P3A (P3Architecture Partnership) of Regina with Fielding Nair International.

The school is notable as an example of a 21st Century learning environment that provides spaces for educators to teach in a traditional manner or expand student opportunities for project and inquiry-based learning. Vanessa Keilback, project architect for P3A, noted, “The goal was to create a learning environment that would allow educators to grow and adapt to everchanging student needs and technologies.” This is accomplished through rooms that can quickly change size and organization, as well as through the use of the spectacular central atrium or learning commons that forms the heart of the building.

James Youck, principal and architect for P3A, felt the school’s leading environmental and sustainable design resulted in one of the greenest buildings in Saskatchewan let alone one of the greenest schools. This, in conjunction with the quality of the architecture and interior design were important  considerations in the award process. Youck also noted that it was the Saskatchewan theme for the school that probably made it a popular choice for
the award.

“Our team worked very closely with the community, students, and teachers to arrive at a theme they felt represented what the school meant to them. They
were and are very proud to be part of the school design and leaders in education locally, provincially, and nationally.” said Youck.

The project is a reflection of the diverse Saskatchewan landscape and builds learning moments right into the fabric of the building. The interior is divided into areas that reflect the provincial eco-regions, and signage around the building provides learning moments for students and visitors. “We are thrilled with the award, especially since it competed with projects from around western North America, but mostly because it validates the process and ultimately the way the children and community have embraced the school,” said Sarah Turnbull, lead interior designer.

Youck added, “It’s a great time to be working in Saskatchewan. The investment and value in education, combined with the spirit of entrepreneurship, has given us the perfect opportunity to examine what it means to be a learner in the 21st Century and design for that. The result speaks for itself and we are proud to be leading the way.”

Pictured above in the back row (left to right) are 2012/13 Vice-Principal Hillary Ibbott-Neiszner and Principal Allen Wills. In the front row (left to right) are Vanessa Keilback, James Youck and Sarah Turnbull from P3A.