St. André Bessette Catholic Secondary School
The school’s main entrance opens to the curving section of Tokala Trail; the school’s chapel graces the front façade showcasing the central element of faith. A well-thought out drop-off area pulls the community safely off the street as the school also fronts a major roadway on its southside. A beautiful Learning Commons was designed for the core of the building’s interior. The area functions as a central atrium where students gather to study and socialize. The Commons is surrounded by central corridors and is adjacent to the library, with the main staircase doubling as meeting spaces with plugs for electronics. The building can be seen from behind its outdoor athletic field and glows in the evening, illuminated during events and practices. The south elevation of the courtyard draws natural light into the heart of the school and serves as an outdoor gathering space and bus-drop off area. The design sectioned variously sized masses of the building, responding to the programming within. Parking areas are spread out surrounding the school to accommodate plenty of green space and more direct access to the school building. In 2013, the St. Andre Bessette project was awarded a Don Smith Commercial Building Award for Excellence in the “Institutional Community” Category by the London / St. Thomas Association of Realtors. The school was also recognized with the provincial Ontario Masonry Design Award for Architectural Design, making this project very special for NSA.