Saddle Lake Elementary School
Saddle Lake Elementary School – also known as Onchaminahos Elementary School – is a new 4,324m2 K-6 school being built in the Saddle Lake Indian Reserve No. 125. The facility must not only accommodate 21st Century Learning, it also needs to be a space that is culturally relevant to honour First Nation culture and traditions. A significant component of this engagement was ensuring Saddle Lake Cree Nation member involvement and other First Nation, Metis or Inuit involvement in the project. This project is currently under construction, and we continue to proactively solicit our trades/supplier contacts to ensure they are diligent in using the local workforce as well.
JEN COL is A True Indigenous Construction Partner… learn more.
Performing Arts Theatre of Hinton
Located about 285 kilometers west of Edmonton, the Town of Hinton enjoys a rich quality of life bolstered by an ardent arts and culture scene. In fact, Hinton is home to nearly 25 cultural organizations – the majority of which are in the performing arts.
In 2015, Hinton Town Council had the vision to create a multi-use facility as a home for theatre production, cinema, lectures and exhibits. This new venue would replace the Roxy Theatre & Performing Arts Centre – devastated by fire in 2009 – which played host to thousands of musical and theatrical performances, festivals and movies since the early 1950s.
With a touch of irony, the new Performing Arts Theatre of Hinton (PATH) along Switzer Drive was converted from an older Fire Hall/RCMP building. The two-phase project included the construction of a new Visual Arts/Pottery Studio – a 115 m2 community-use building offering space for local artists to hone their craft and share their work – and secondly, a 1,369 m2 addition and renovation of the existing Fire Hall into a new 170-seat performing arts theatre and cinema.
The fire truck apparatus bays were converted into the theatre with a specialty wood stage and retractable seating to increase the number of potential uses for the space. The primary addition to the building houses the lobby, washrooms and a second-floor sound and data mezzanine. This addition was an exposed wood glulam structure with large windows and a fully functioning bar and concession. A second wood glulam addition to the facility houses the theatre’s back of house space and features a large overhead door allowing productions to easily move stage equipment in and out of the facility. The entire project was outfitted with upgraded finishes and fixtures to provide an upscale atmosphere as soon as patrons walk in the door. To help set the mood for the various events hosted at the PATH, recessed LED fixtures were added in the walls throughout the lobby and theater which can be programmed to any colour and brightness.
The PATH project was nominated for the 2019 Prairie Wood Design Awards in the Institutional Category and is now identified as a destination for performing arts and theatre.
Theresa C. Wildcat Early Learning Centre
Currently under construction, this new building is located just southeast of the existing kindergarten school. The new 2,900m2 early learning facility will welcome the community’s children during the most important learning years of their lives to help create a strong foundation for learning today and for success later in life. The school will also honour First Nation culture and traditions and serve the community for many years to come. JEN COL has partnered with the community, the Maskwacîs Education Schools Commission and the Maskwacîs Employment Centre on recruitment campaigns to identify potential candidates and to make candidates aware of job opportunities throughout the construction of the project.
JEN COL is A True Indigenous Construction Partner… learn more.
St. Kateri Tekakwitha Academy
St. Kateri Tekakwitha Academy is a new pre-K to Grade 5 school constructed on a greenfield site in the new Westwinds subdivision in the Town of Morinville. It is the first school the Greater St. Albert Catholic School District has built in the Town since Morinville Community High School opened in 1994. The Academy addresses current and future growth at the elementary level and includes a sports academy focusing on gymnastics, cheer, dance and hockey, with a strong emphasis on academics.
This 3,158m² facility has been designed and constructed to meet LEED® Silver with capacity for 350 students. A unique—and sustainable—feature of the Academy are the solar panels on the exterior and interior of the building where students can use mobile solar panels and software as part of lessons on tracking energy production and use.
The school’s main hall gathering space for students and staff has a wood-patterned floor and ceiling to resemble an Indigenous longhouse, and the front office is brown to reflect St. Kateri’s artisan skills as a basket weaver. The school’s grades are divided into three color-coded pods and classrooms in each pod have garage-door walls that spill into common areas when open.
Corpus Christi Catholic School
In 2014, Edmonton Catholic Schools announced a new kindergarten to Grade 9 school would be built in southeast Edmonton to serve the Walker neighbourhood (located in the Ellerslie and Summerside area). This school has a planned occupancy of 750 students with room to add up to ten modular units in addition to the core facility.
The new building has 31 classrooms including science labs and Career and Technology Studies (CTS) workrooms, two gymnasiums, a servery kitchen and a two-storey learning commons to unify the three school divisions in an interactive, multipurpose program area. The school’s two-storey design helps maximize the efficiency of the building, maximize outdoor activity space and allow appropriate separation of grade structure based on division.
High-quality finishes around the school include cork floor tile in the music rooms, wood grain metal ceiling clouds throughout the building, full-height glazing walls in both gymnasiums for spectator viewing from both the main and the second floor, as well as polished concrete throughout the school for added durability and lower maintenance costs.
Corpus Christi Catholic School successfully achieved LEED® Silver Certification. The use of natural lighting throughout the building, a well-designed heating and cooling system and low flow fixtures were all contributing factors. Canada Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design New Construction (LEED-NC) Silver-rating-certified buildings reduce waste, conserve energy, decrease water consumption and drive innovation through better air ventilation, more natural daylight and several other innovative techniques.
Borden Park Pavilion
Named after Canada’s eighth prime minister—Sir Robert Borden—Borden Park in the early 1900s was Edmonton’s playground, complete with merry-go-round, a giant wood rollercoaster, a zoo, cricket pitches, baseball diamonds, a tearoom, fountains, a band shell and, of course, a hockey rink.
The City was looking to honor the park’s history and glory; this was accomplished by constructing a drum-like structure to evoke amusement park images of carousels and ferris wheels. During the day, the Borden Park Pavilion blends so well into the scenery it almost disappears into the scenery while in the evening, it lights up, resembling a cross between a toy drum and a lantern. Floor-to-ceiling glazing allows captivating views into, through and out from the pavilion, reflecting the surrounding park and seasons in striking triangular facets.
This award-winning structure is designed for openness and flexibility. The enclosed portions of the pavilion, such as the staff program rooms, mechanical room, janitorial room and washrooms are organized in a central core. Tables and stools are embedded into the concrete floor and window benches are built into the base of the framework providing additional seating. The use of glass, wood and concrete for the pavilion were selected for their sustainability, durability, permanence and timelessness.
• 2015 City of Edmonton Urban Design Award
• 2016 Prairie Design Award
• 2016 Prairie Wood Design Award of Excellence
• 2018 Governor General’s Medal in Architecture
And if these awards aren’t enough… the Borden Park Pavilion’s claimed the title for Canada’s Best Restroom in 2021! What made it the best in Canada? Learn more about it here.
Fox Lake Elementary School
Fox Lake Elementary School (formerly Jean Baptiste Sewepagaham School), a 4,866m² elementary school located in one of Canada’s most remote communities south of the 60th parallel, is only accessible by air, over a 1.1 km-long ice bridge in the winter and by a small barge in the summer. In fact, at the project’s inception 1,200+ trailer loads of materials and equipment were shipped across the ice bridge to allow for construction to seamlessly move forward in the summer season. At the time, this project was the largest and highest risk in Canada’s Economic Action Plan (CEAP) and the isolation constraints, complexity of design and CEAP deadline of March 31, 2011 made this an extremely interesting project.
JEN COL’s strong partnership with the Little Red River Cree Nation fostered collaboration on the extensive civil scope, camp facilities, apprenticeship and training of local members and use of local equipment, making this a true “Community’s School.” This relationship and understanding between owner and construction manager allowed the project to finish on time and on budget even with some unique circumstances and constraints.
This project had the attention of the Federal Directors and Ministers for Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (now Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada). On their site tour, the overwhelming response was, “an amazing facility and unbelievable it was completed on time, considering the logistics.”
2015 Alberta Masonry Award for Structural Masonry Design
Glenmary School in Peace River, Alberta was originally built in 1964 with four classrooms and a small gymnasium. Sister Gillespie, a teacher at the school came up with the name Glenmary, “Glen” came from the area of town called Glenview and “Mary” was carefully selected as a devotion to Mary Mother of God. Over the years, additions to the school were built in 1966, 1970, 1980 and 1988.
In 2016, JEN COL Construction was awarded the contract to complete a 5,924 m2 modernization and 437 m2 addition. This included construction of a new Career and Technology Studies (CTS) lab with large overhead doors, a new space for the school’s art program, a series of new science labs and a two-storey aesthetics salon (named the EvelineCharles Peace River Academy). Renovations were also made to classrooms, the library, drama room, music room, staff room, meeting spaces, administration area and washrooms. This project was completed while the school remained occupied by staff and students and was organized into phases to allow the school to remain open and fully operational.
JEN COL was also contracted to install new seating in the theatre as part of a separate contract and returned in 2019 to install solar panels on the school to harness the sun’s power by converting it into 120-volt power to be used as needed to reduce their carbon footprint.
Fire Rescue Services Norwood Station No. 5
The original Norwood fire hall in north Edmonton began operations in 1911. Ninety-nine years later – and just a few blocks away – the new Fire Rescue Services Norwood Station No. 5 opened its doors to serve the community.
Construction of the two-bay fire station began in 2009 using a traditional design with exposed glulam trusses and wood decking as part of the architectural feature for the apparatus bay ceiling along with a ground concrete floor finish throughout the facility. The station consists of large equipment and apparatus bay, communal kitchen, recreation and exercise rooms, shower facilities and private dorm rooms.
With an eye on environmental sustainability, high performance mechanical and electrical systems and building envelope design combined with environmentally friendly, durable and locally manufactured materials were used. A rainwater recovery system was also designed to recover rainwater from the building’s rooftop to be stored in a large underground cistern. Through effective construction waste management, 94% of the project’s waste was diverted from landfills. This project became LEED Certified by CaGBC in 2015.
The site is in a mature neighborhood and maintaining a good relationship with the community and protecting mature trees was paramount. As part of a Municipal Improvement Agreement and in conjunction with the City of Edmonton, the roads and sidewalks in the adjoining neighborhoods were also reconstructed.
Chateh Community School
Located in the small northern community of Chateh, Alberta (also known as Assumption, AB), the Chateh K-12 Community School was constructed to serve as both a learning and community cultural gathering place.
Understanding the importance of this new hub to the Dene Tha’ First Nation, JEN COL consulted regularly with the local community to ensure every culturally significant detail was constructed with precision. JEN COL also made a commitment to the community by hiring and training as many local workers as possible. The school’s concept evolved from a study of culturally significant aspects of the Dene Tha’ First Nation. Traditional “hut” type/radial habitation patterns and studies of cultural symbolism were combined to suggest a balanced development of existence, cultural definition and spirituality.
In addition to the academic spaces, the school features a new cultural centre, health centre, cafeteria, gymnasium, student gathering area and library which are accessible for public use. This creative and intricate building boasts 20-metre high columns, unique Kalwall day-lighting panels, curved sloping roofs with skylights and imported wood roof decking. JEN COL was successful in delivering this project ahead of schedule and on budget. This project emphasizes JEN COL’s commitment to ensuring First Nations history, traditions and culture are respected and honored for projects we undertake on First Nations land. It demonstrates our focus on strong and lasting relationships within First Nations communities and our ability to seek opportunities within projects to highlight and acknowledge First Nations culture and traditions.
- 2006 Best New School Facility, Council of Educational Facility Planners International, Alberta and International Chapters
- 2002 Alberta’s Top Projects, Alberta Construction Magazine