Grasslands School Division Modernization
Duchess High School and Bassano High School, Alberta
Nestled in the vast farm and ranch lands of southeastern Alberta is the Town of Bassano and the neighbouring Village of Duchess. The Town and Village are sustained mainly by agriculture, oil and gas, and manufacturing businesses, and share the Grasslands School Division. In 2009, SAHURI + Partners designed a modernization project for major portions of Duchess High School and Bassano High School.
Both existing schools were renovated and expanded using a phased construction approach, which allowed students and staff to be temporarily relocated to a "decanting" facility, specially constructed on each site, while the major construction work was executed. Duchess High School had about 51,107 sf. added to it at $6.78 million, and Bassano High School had about 50,870 sf. added at $7.32 million.
Altogether, the $14.1 million project included costs for asbestos and mold remediation for the dated buildings. We designed the necessary in-fill of each school's courtyard with required instructional and non-instructional spaces, which provided central hub areas; instead of the typical long corridor system with no clear, central organization. Through reorganizing programmed spaces, spatial efficiency was increased and many of the schools' dated corridors were eliminated.
The old gymnasiums had a second floor added to them which achieved additional instructional space. The modernizations provided barrier-free access to student and staff washrooms, and power-assisted doors at each main entrance. New fire alarms and sprinkler systems were also incorporated into the respective schools to enhance fire protection and safety for students and staff.
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