For 10 weeks in June, July and August 2014, seven Upper School classrooms used primarily by students in Years 1 or 2 (i.e. the Intermediate Division or “iDiv”) will be a hive of activity. But instead of the usual clatter of boys rushing to class, it’ll be the sounds of hammers, drills and construction workers ringing through the hallways.
The renovation of the iDiv marks the continuation of the College’s renovation of the Upper School facility — a key component of the Think Ahead Campaign. With work scheduled to take place over the few short weeks in the summer when students aren’t on campus, the iDiv renovation will be the most ambitious project attempted to date.
“We’ve already renovated several spaces in the Upper School — most notably the majority of science labs and a few math classrooms on the third floor,” explains Steve Thuringer, executive director of facilities. “Faculty and students will come back in September to find a large portion of the south face of the second floor looking very different from how they left it in June.”
The goal of the renovation is to overhaul each of the seven iDiv classrooms — most of which have remained largely untouched since they were first built more than half a century ago — and transforming them into optimal learning environments. Individual classroom design and layout will depend on the preferences of each faculty user, but will adhere to the standards of optimal learning environments. Features will include:
• sturdy and movable desks and chairs that can easily be rearranged for small group work, discussions and presentations;
• new lighting systems that mimic natural sunlight and automatically adjust to ensure that brightness at desk level is optimal for learning;
• enhanced technological features, including three points of projection and interactive white boards;
• natural fibre carpeting that will improve acoustics and can be easily cleaned;
• thermal windows that prevent heat loss;
• updated, energy-efficient heating and ventilation systems;
• air conditioning to ensure users’ comfort throughout the school year;
• design that follows the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act’s strict standards to ensure that all community members can access each iDiv classroom.
“The iDiv renovation is so exciting,” says Mary Gauthier, executive director of the Wernham and West Centre for Learning. “Our classrooms don’t look much different than they would have 20, 50 or even 100 years ago. The new iDiv will incorporate years of cutting-edge research into the impact physical spaces have on learning and will become valuable tools in how we teach our boys.”
The total planned cost of the iDiv renovation this summer will stand at more than $3 million, with a further $500,000 required in support from the UCC community.
“The College has committed itself to the renovation of the Upper School and is heavily investing in this project,” explains principal Jim Power. “But, if we’re to be successful, we’ll need help from generous parents, Old Boys and other friends. Their support is especially important in helping us keep to our ambitious schedule, which will see the Upper School renovation completed within the next six years.”
To learn more about renovation plans for the iDiv and the rest of the Upper School — as well as how you can help support the work — click here, or contact Paige Johnson, development officer, at email@example.com.