Completed on August 27, 2021, the new Elsipogtog First Nation (EFN) K-8 community school is the first of its kind in New Brunswick, blending culture, nature, and learning in an inclusive environment.
• Accommodate 630 students, grades K-8.
• Provide a cost-effective design with an inclusive, culturally-rich learning environment.
• Pays homage by incorporating unique motifs such as the Mi’kmaq Medicine Wheel in the building’s layout. Encompass unique community and collaborative spaces for teachers, students, and community services: semi-private “wings/pods” for individual age groups, teacher collaboration rooms, dental office, and a two-story gymnasium.
Designed around defining features that blended culture with nature. Key features include students beginning their journey in the East pod and graduating in the West pod like the sun, flowing floor patterns simulating water, and structural components simulating trees. Advanced technological energy systems, such as indirect and LED lighting, in-floor heating, energy-efficient boilers, and automated controls were also used.
The old building was unable to accommodate the student population or meet the cultural needs of the EFN community. The design proactively responds to economic and social needs. Families and elders now act as partners in the educational process and the new school provides a safe, inviting, and nurturing atmosphere for a variety of education and employment opportunities for all First Nations Peoples.
Teachers, operational/service staff, skilled trades trainers, and school psychologists were invited to provide design input. EFN Educational Authority contributed guidance on the local community. The building offers community amenities that are open to the public, as well as a modern, efficient facility that has introduced new learning pathways. The school provides opportunities and economic stimulus to shape tomorrow’s leaders.