The original school bears witness to an out-dated standard provincial design that was used at numerous other school sites in the late 50’s. Tatamagouche is a unique place, full of culture and character; therefore, the design needed to be equally unique and alluring. Conceptually, the design points to that uniqueness and draws upon the community’s lumbering and shipbuilding heritage as architectural devices to develop forms, materials and details for the new school.
The complex site topography meant the school sits within the 25 ft front-to-back grade change. The school is designed for a total population of 451 students in a K-12 format. The building is comprised of a “Core” component and two classroom or “Learning” wings. The Core area features 21st century common spaces such as a gym, cafeteria with a raised classroom space and learning commons. The Learning space wings feature various learning rooms for general and specialized study/use. The north side Learning wing has typical academic programs over both first and second storeys. Due to the slope of the land, the south Learning wing is used for program spaces requiring direct access to grade (higher land) for vehicles, deliveries, oil tank access, dust collector access, etc. Although accessed on grade, this wing is the second floor relative to the entrance. There are three distinct nodes for break-out and informal learning.