Kearns Mancini’s proposal for the Highcastle Public School sought to incorporate and renovate an existing two-storey west wing of over-sized classrooms into a more efficient space, while also adding an additional building with new classrooms and communal spaces. The buildings are sensitively connected through a central, glazed corridor, which defines a new courtyard framed by the existing and proposed building.
The original program for Highcastle Public School was to provide an 11 classroom, 4 kindergarten room addition, while at the same time removing 6 portable classrooms. Following a series of user group meetings, the final program was expanded to renovate an existing two-storey west wing of oversized classrooms to allow for a more efficient space usage, adding classrooms, upgrading the mechanical systems and developing a senior students arts and science technical suite. Ultimately, the addtion and re-management of these programs was meant to foster a larger school population and increased availability to educational resources.
370 Military Trail Toronto, Ontario
Gross Project Area
21,350 sq. ft.
Toronto District School Board
Jonathan Kearns, Dan McNeil, Keith Button, Erika Zaphiratos, Sharon Leung
Axonometric of building addition
Existing kindergarten spaces would be relocated into a new two-storey wing with an additional 4 kindergarten rooms on the ground floor and 9 new classrooms on the second floor. The existing gym, staff, front office & washroom facilities would all be expanded in order to provide more comfortable usage. The exterior drop-off parking areas and playground facilities were also redesigned to improve usability and to accommodate the expanded school program. Classrooms and kindergarten rooms on the ground floor were designed with direct access to the exterior with the creation of framed play areas corresponding to each classroom space.
A planned methodology of phasing construction and creating ‘swing’ space for decanting classrooms would allow for full operation of the school while construction was in progress. As well as promising to rejuvenate an existing 1960’s school, Kearns Mancini’s final design successfully incorporated all of the additional requirements that arose from user group meetings. While Tender Documents issued for review were approved & deemed complete and ready for Tender by the TDSB, Tender and construction has not proceeded due to Provincial freezing of funding.
View of rear courtyard and proposed central circulation space