Staff is busy unpacking and putting the final touches on the brand new Shas-Ti Kelly Road Secondary School building.
On March 17, 2017, the B.C. and School District No. 57 (SD57) announced an investment of $44.3 million to replace Prince George's Kelly Road Secondary School.
The provincial government committed $43.3 million to the project while SD57 committed $1 million, and construction of the new building started in the fall of 2017.
The new building cost a little over $30 million to build, and the rest of the budget will be allocated to the demolition of the old school building, grading and installation of roadways, bus lanes and parking lots.
The school will accommodate 900 students with all spaces being designed with inclusive and collaborative education as a priority.
Teacher's voices will be amplified through a performance sound system and lapel mics, there's charging stations for student devices, elevators, an Indigenous Education Centre and three sets of all-gender washrooms in the building -- one on the main level and two on the upper level.
While the school is similar in design to Duchess Park Secondary's building, it has been designed to meet the highest international certification standard for being environmentally friendly and also has cutting-edge technology built into the new facility, which sets it apart from other schools in the district.
“People will liken it to Duchess Park, which was completed in 2010, but it’s different,” said Barry Bepple, School District 57's Energy and Sustainable Conservation Coordinator, in a release.
“There are a lot of features and enhancements to each of the spaces."
Here is an overview of the features included in the new building:
- Each classroom has its own heating and cooling system
- Each classroom has multi-level LED lighting which can be controlled from two different locations
- Each classroom features an interactive projector and whiteboard
- Each classroom has a performance sound system with infrared technology so teachers can connect and speak through a lapel microphone
- Clocks are linked to the building’s wireless internet and reset automatically with time changes
- As part of the building’s open-concept design, two classrooms have sliding glass wall systems, giving students the opportunity for collaborative learning
- There are breakout zones throughout the building, designed to facilitate group discussions and activities
- Breakout zones can also be used as study spaces
- One breakout zone on the upper level includes a charging station for devices
The atrium is an expansive space on the ground level and serves as the central hub of the school; the area includes a spiral staircase, spectator viewing into the gymnasium, a performance platform, a dedicated sound system and specialized acoustic treatments; a feature wall of three-dimensional wood design illustrates the importance of the Nechako and Fraser rivers to the region
- A folding glass wall at the front of the Learning Commons opens onto the west end of the atrium, which creates a combines usable space roughly equivalent to the length of a football field
- The Learning Commons has an attached computer lab and separate collaboration areas
- Acoustic treatments on the walls and in the ceiling keep sound dampened
- The LED lighting has sensors for occupancy/daylight harvesting and adjusts levels accordingly
Indigenous Education Centre
- An Indigenous Education Centre is located off the central part of the atrium, in the heart of the school
- The area will be a gathering place for students and staff, a spot for activities and meals
- Two Foods classrooms are located directly to the east side of the Indigenous Education Centre
- The classrooms are connected to a walkthrough pantry that features a passthrough window into a canteen that serves lunch tables in this part of the atrium; the connectedness of the entire area is a key feature
- The Foods classrooms have cooktops with induction elements that transfer heat into cookware
- There is virtually no trace of heat from the elements themselves, and the spaces around them remain cool
- Above the teacher’s station is a demonstration mirror that allows students to easily observe lessons and the preparation of recipes
Alternate Education, Learning Assistance and exceptional needs
- Next to the Foods area, at the east entrance to the building, there are dedicated classrooms for students who are enrolled in Alternate Education programs and Learning Assistance, as well as a specialized room for students who have exceptional needs.
- A sprung maple-wood floor of NBA quality is the primary feature of the gymnasium, which includes a drop-down divider curtain, performance sound system, LED lighting and three score clocks that can be linked or operated independently
- Foldaway bleachers are electronically operated
- Capacity is 1,532 people
- The theatre has performance-level computerized lighting, sound systems and acoustics; an independent rigging system over the audience allows for adjustability
- The room includes an electric screen and projector system and seating for 204 people
- Washrooms, dressing rooms and a long mirrored wall for makeup application are located back-of-stage
- The music room features a high ceiling, plenty of natural light, advanced acoustics and sound-lock door.
Art rooms / maker space
- There are two art rooms, one designed for two-dimensional work and the other for three-dimensional; the 2-D room includes computers for photography students and the 3-D room features a kiln for pottery projects; the rooms have an adjoining door.
- A dedicated maker space will give students access to 3-D printers, a laser cutter, soldering stations and a robotics table.
- The building has three all-gender washrooms, one on the main level and two on the upper level; the allgender washrooms have fully enclosed stalls (including stalls for students with disabilities) and common washing areas; there are separate staff and family-friendly washrooms, as well as washrooms for students with exceptional needs
- The school includes an auto shop with three bay doors and two hoists that go high enough to allow complete access under vehicles, a metal shop complete with a forge and four welding stations, and a woodshop that has its own painting/finishing booth.
Heating and cooling
- Shas Ti Kelly Road features a highly-efficient heating and ventilation system. The system – a four-pipe hydronic (water) loop – utilizes an 80tonne geothermal exchange
The school also features a dual name, which was voted for by the SD57 Board of Education in April. Shas Ti means “grizzly trail” or “grizzly path” in the Dakelh dialect of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation. The new building also features signage incorporating the Dakelh language throughout the building.
The original Kelly Road building became a true secondary school with the addition of Grade 11 and 12 students in September 1975. Before that, it opened as a two-room elementary school in September 1957. In 1960, a portable was added and the school became known as Kelly Road Elementary Junior High School. Two years later, in 1962, the name changed to Kelly Road Elementary Junior Secondary School. An expansion project started in 1964 and was completed in 1967, the final year of attendance for elementary students.
Students will be welcomed into the new building for the first time during the SD57's gradual restart beginning on Sept. 10. Demolition and groundwork of the old Kelly Road building will begin sometime next spring.