St. Lucia Schools
The Government of St. Lucia received financing from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) for the extension and rehabilitation of a number of Primary Schools and Health Centers. These funds were managed by the Ministry of Education and Culture through the Basic Education Enhancement Program (BEEP). In 2011 we were sub-contracted by the lead consultants Stantec, to prepare architectural designs and tender documents for the construction of a new Primary & Infants School at La Guerre and the extension of three (3) Primary Schools at Fond Assau, Gordon Walcott and Vide Bouteille.
The project brief required the new constructs to serve as hurricane shelters, be low maintenance and enhance the quality of the teaching and learning environment. In most instances these new buildings were replacing dilapidated single storey timber classrooms.
Our solution was to develop a Prototype classroom block that could be modified to suit the conditions at the various schools. The typical cross section of the prototype has an open breezeway at ground floor level with the main washrooms. These breezeways are used for morning assembly and an area for the children to sit and eat their lunch. Classrooms are located on the upper floors along an open corridor and have operable aluminum louver windows (hurricane rated) on two sides to maximise daylight and natural ventilation. Stairwells are provided on one or both ends subject to the permitted Fire escape travel distances and existing adjacent blocks. A reinforced concrete frame is used for the structure with stub columns at the flat roof level to facilitate the addition of additional floors in the future. These prototype blocks were then simply lengthened or shortened by a classroom module to fit the available space and specific school’s requirements.
The new 14,140sqft (1,315sqm) school at La Guerre is a 3-storey structure catering for approx. 240 infants and primary students with 8 classrooms, music room, library, IT laboratory, kitchen and administrative facilities such as the sick bay, a staff-room and the principal’s office. The extensions to the other 3 schools are generally blocks of classrooms with washrooms, breezeways and stairwells:
- Gordon Walcott – 2 storey block with 3 classrooms to cater for an additional 90 pupils (4,975sqft / 462m)
- Fond Assau - 2 storey block with 6 classrooms to cater for an additional 180 pupils (10,570sqft / 982sqm)
- Vide Boutille - 3 storey block with 10 classrooms to cater for an additional 300 pupils (13,710sqft / 1275sqm)
The use of colour is an integral part of the design, animating the facades and providing reference points for the pupils and users. We believe that our approach has resulted in a design which will be cost effective, comfortable, fun and will be enjoyed for years to come.
LocationBEEP - Basic Education Enhancement Program, St. Lucia
Size42930 sq. ft. / 3988 sq. m.
Engineers & Project Managers
- Stantec Consulting Caribbean Ltd
- John C. Francis Associates
- Design allows natural ventilation & day lighting
- Rainwater Harvesting for flushing toilets and re-use
- Water Conservation - Self closing taps/urinals & Low/dual flush toilets
- Solar Water Heaters
- Reflective roof coating minimises solar heat gain