Building Project Updates

John Knox Christian School is in the process of building a high school in New Westminster! Construction has just begun, and we look forward to opening in September 2018.

Highlights:

  • Address: 260 – 12th Street, New Westminster
  • Size: 55,000 sq. ft.
  • Project value: $28 million
  • Grade 7 – 12, triple track
  • Stand alone high school
  • Principal: Paul Tigchelaar, Vice Principal: Wendy Perttula
  • Opening: September 2018

Inspired by the Design:
John Knox Christian High School

As we begin the physical construction of our new high school, excitement is mounting. The building’s architectural features are truly inspiring and designed to support ambitious educational goals and social priorities.

The chapel, a sacred and tone-setting space, concretely upholds our intention of being a school with provision for the centrality of God in all facets of our community. The entrance into this room sets it apart from all other areas in the building and highlights the primacy of our enduring invitation, “Come Lord Jesus, Come.”

The Learning Commons emulates a design revolution in 21st century libraries. This resource center has three walls, not four, and is defined along one side by a student thoroughfare. The inviting entrance declares, “You are a trusted student. Welcome.” 1 Although the domain of a librarian, here learning pursuits can be driven by learners’ interests. With access to research data banks, technology and texts of all kinds, students will be guided in their search for information that feeds a passion, expands understanding, sparks an idea or inspires a project. 2

The adjoining Maker Space provides room where diverse and perhaps messy hands-on work can be achieved under moderate supervision; a place where projects can be assembled or the designing of cross-curricular imaginings can be transformed into 3D models.

The exterior wall of the Music Room opens generously into the Courtyard, so the gift of performance can naturally interface with our community’s outdoor public-gathering place.  The Music Room also shares a corridor with our IT room, forming an inviting opportunity to combine innovative technologies and the performing arts.

The Cardio room supports a curricular extension of our PE program; it acknowledges revolutionary advances in science that verify students can mitigate stress, sharpen their intellect, lift their mood and remodel their brain simply by breaking a sweat.  3

The Biology room opens onto a roof-top, so the study of living organisms is supported by an indoor-outdoor connection. We will make provision for an urban colony of honey bees, and for plants and soils in support of interdisciplinary studies in biology, ecology and botany.

The series of art, math and science classrooms are nested together on the fourth floor. Theories in support of developing multiple intelligences are being driven by the need for mathematicians, scientists and engineers to simultaneously be imaginative innovators in design.  4

The Student Commons, Student Servery and well-equipped Foods Lab are proximally situated to encourage peer and inter-generational connections. This space will support the critical goal of developing relational intelligence, and in tandem with teaching life-skills, student’s culinary creations will fittingly enhance community celebrations and special events.

The school is also encased with expansive windows that will let in reams of healthy, natural light. As we look out into the surrounding community, others will be looking in. At our most genuine, we will begin living in this new space by grappling with how the culture within can be a light and a blessing to the cultures without. At our very best, the community will be attracted to Christ in us.

In support of our God-honouring intentions, I sincerely invite you to pray:

“God, bless us in our genuine desire to honour Christ by living well in our new community.”

 

Wendy Perttula
Vice Principal
John Knox Christian High School

 

Some ideas or phrases in this piece are inspired by:
The Language of School Design, Nair, Fielding and Lackney
Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, by John J. Rately
A Whole New Mind, by Daniel H. Pink