The Clearspring Middle School embodies “school as a learning tool,” a concept that sees fruition in the design of features that instruct and educate the children who attend. “The building features dozens of these learning invitations, where students and adults alike can learn about the heating and electrical systems, the structure, the building envelope, and much more. Inlaid in the flooring are the ellipses of the planetary system and a stylized map of the street systems of Steinbach, tying the students to their place in the local community and in the universe itself.” - Ken Klassen, Former Hanover School Division Superintendent, Current Executive Director of the Manitoba Association of School Superintendents.
Clearspring Middle School is more than a healthy, inspiring learning environment, it is also a reflection of environmental stewardship as one of the first schools in Manitoba to target LEED Gold certification, and embodies the school division’s driving values – sustainability, livability, architecture of place, community, and learning.
The integrated design process began with the first meeting, engaging staff, board members, and students in a design charette where teams were able to use colour blocks to piece their own school together. With this exercise in mind, the design team incorporated the feedback into the facility planning, creating a layout that assimilates the best ideas, and allows the users to feel ownership of the design process.
By truly seeking to understand the needs of the client, Stantec was able to design a facility that resonated in the community, incorporating architectural elements that create future learning opportunities, and aided in inspiring a new school team name, The Trailblazers.