Last week, we welcomed back to St. George’s School the team of consultants working with us in reviewing our facilities and developing a Campus Master Plan. As you will recall, in late December we selected a partnership consisting of Fielding Nair International (www.fieldingnair.com
) and Graham Hoffart Mathiasen Architects (www.ghma.com
) to support us in undertaking this important project. FNI brings with it a wealth of experience having worked on hundreds of school projects in forty different countries, while GHMA is a well-respected local firm that has designed over 500 schools in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. The consultants from FNI and GHMA had an incredibly full and productive visit, devoting most of their time to meeting with various stakeholder groups, including faculty and staff, students, senior management, parents, Board members, and Georgians. They also met with our neighbours and members of the Dunbar community, as well as the City of Vancouver planning department.
In the various meetings and presentations that took place last week, we took the opportunity to clarify the current process and to provide an overview of what we hope to accomplish over the course of the next six months. In particular, we stressed the following key points.
- The Campus Master Planning project is a direct outcome of our new Strategic Plan.
- The School has no immediate plans for major renovations or new construction.
- We don’t plan to increase enrollment.
- The review process will be grounded in program needs, as well as in the principles of 21st century school design and best practices in boys’ learning.
- We are committed to a consultative and collaborative process, securing input from all stakeholder groups, including faculty and staff, students, parents, Georgians and neighbours.
- The Campus Master Plan will not include detailed designs for specific buildings. Rather, our goal is to develop a big picture, high level view of how our facilities might evolve in the coming years and decades.
- Any major renovations or new construction arising from the Campus Master Plan will be financed through donations.
The various workshops and presentations that took place throughout the week were well received, and they provided the team with valuable opportunities to receive input from those in attendance. A highlight for me was walking into McLean Hall on Wednesday morning and seeing a group of Senior School students, faculty, and administrators engrossed in a Design Patterns workshop with the consultants. What a wonderful opportunity for the boys to actively participate in the process that eventually will produce the vision and the plan shaping the development of our facilities for decades to come.
In closing, I would like to express my appreciation to everyone who attended any of the information sessions, workshops, or meetings. Thank you, as well, for your input, which we will take into account as we carry on with the review process in the coming months. For the benefit of anyone who was unable to attend the evening meeting for parents and Georgians on March 7, the PowerPoint presentation from that session has been posted HERE
. Please feel free to provide feedback by emailing Neil Piller, our Director of Operations, at firstname.lastname@example.org
, and, as always, I can be contacted at email@example.com
.Dr. Tom Matthews