Pope Francis Elementary School

Northeastern Catholic District School Board

Top image Pope Francis Elementary School
Pope Francis Elementary School

Drawing from the cultural fabric of Northern Ontario and the religious teachings of the school, the design of the 15,500 sf two-storey expansion at Pope Francis Catholic School in Timmins aims to connect the students to each other, their community and the outside world. 

The expansion and renovation project at Pope Francis Catholic School and the YMCA Child Care Centre consists of a 15,500 sf two story school addition with lobby, classrooms and library and upgrades to the existing 23,400 sf elementary school and child care centre. The school addition was located in plan to create a 3 pointed star to accommodate space for the kindergarten play areas and was designed to be complimentary to the existing neighbouring community. Design elements were incorporated in recognition of the Indigenous culture and heritage and acknowledging the large first nations population at the school.

The design for this project included doubling the size of an existing school by adding a two-storey addition to the single storey portion of the existing school and then bridging that single storey.
Construction to connect the second floors of both buildings. This strategy required a careful demolition and underpinning of the existing lower floor – coordinating with existing mechanical systems to remain and underpinning the existing structure where required without expending excessive budget on demolition and remedial work.

In addition to the selective reconstruction of the school’s main entrance, the increased population of the school necessitated a reorientation of the main entrance and a complete re-ordering of the site to the opposite street to provide adequate bus lay-by’s and play space for the completed school.