École secondaire catholique Franco-Cité
Ottawa, Ontario
Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est
The addition and alteration program transformed this existing school complex into a modern school campus offering a shared high school facility to 1,200 students from both the Public and Catholic sectors of the French Boards of Ottawa-Carleton. Initially, the school complex creatively housed, under one roof, students from the two School Boards.

The complex did not compromise the needs of either School Board. The common use of the facility resulted in a substantial saving for each Board: less capital was required to start the project and, by sharing the building’s mechanical and electrical systems, the operating costs were reduced.

The design solution maintained a separate “identity” for each school by creating separate entrances, lobbies, administration areas and classrooms. Different colour schemes were also established for each school.

To successfully consolidate the teaching areas, which are used exclusively by each school, and the common use spaces such as the library, cafeteria, sports complex, and technology labs, as well as to create a much needed student common activity area, the new addition was linked to the existing complex by an atrium - an “allée”. The construction of the “allée”, which adjoins the existing building but is a self-supporting structure, permitted the original exterior walls of the school to remain enclosed and intact and allowed the incorporation of a blend of building materials and colours that aesthetically balance the overall architectural design.

Pedestrian circulation concentrates at the Smyth Road entrances where there is a plaza that consists of two canopies and two flag courts. These are linked together by a landscaped area with a “northern theme” and contain boulders and native planting materials. The remainder of the site has been retained as open parkland with groupings of trees, and sports fields that serve students as well as the local community.

The selected design/construction method (phased construction) enabled the design team to meet the Boards’ demanding schedules and minimize the costly effects of winter construction.

Presently, École Franco-Cité serves the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est, exclusively. Our office completed several renovations / additions at this school campus including the professional soccer field with artificial turf, designed to meet the FIFA standards.

© Edward J. Cuhaci and Associates Architects Inc. All Rights Reserved

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