Charles P. Allen High School, Bedford, Nova Scotia
C.P. Allen High School was designed for 1200 students in grades 9-12. A full community centre is attached and integrated with the school, which offers municipal/community programs and services. A driving factor in this school was to incorporate 21st century learning and new trends in education, and to capitalize on the idea that every space is a learning space.
"There are so many more possibilities for us. I can’t imagine what opportunities will be available to our present students and our future students, given all of the unique spaces in this building."
The school attempts to make learning and collaboration the focus throughout the school. For classroom learning, students and teachers were given choices that help accommodate differentiated learning styles – the ability to rearrange furniture, control light and temperature, and have breakout spaces for learning outside the classroom. It was important for students to see other students and teachers learning and collaborating, so spaces were created to promote this. A connection to exterior spaces was also a central aim of the design, so a large exterior courtyard – a primary inspirational area – has been incorporated, which is encircled by the drama, art, music, cafetorium, visual arts, exchange spaces, as well as creative thought curriculum spaces (art, technology production and collaborative/project-based learning).
The community space features exercise and activity rooms, meeting rooms, a daycare/pre-school space and a full size gymnasium. It also fosters that sense of community through shared access to the school’s cafetorium and fitness spaces, promoting interaction and collaboration between the school and the local community.