Virginia park school

The Virginia Park Elementary School project involves the removal and disposal of approximately 12,800 m³ of contaminated fill, currently located immediately north of the existing school; the construction of a new 3, 340 m² (36,000 sf) K-6 school; the demolition of the existing school; and the construction of a new access road, parking lot and walkway network.

The new school must be constructed while the existing school remains opened to students. This requirement greatly limits the site area where the new building can be located; the only suitable remaining area being where the contaminated fill is located. In order to provide construction access around the new building and appropriate clearance to the existing, the new building footprint had to be kept as narrow as possible. This lead to a design that was ordered around a single central corridor, rather than a T-shape layout that is more common in school design with the larger spaces – the gymnasium, lunchroom, etc. – located in a separate wing from the classrooms. To further increase the separation between the new and existing buildings, the new school will be pushed back into the hillside and the plan kinked in the middle 45 degrees so it brackets the existing building. A two-storey layout with equal area distribution on each floor, as much as possible, also serves to reduce the footprint.

CLIENT: Department of Transportation and Works

SERVICES: Architect

BUDGET: $11 million

SIZE: 3,340 m²

LOCATION: Virginia Park, St. John's, Newfoundland

STATUS: Under Construction