Case Study

Queen Elizabeth Public School

Queen Elizabeth Public School: A Testament to Modern Design and Community Integration

A Millennial school on Simcoe Street, north of Oshawa, completed in 2000, stands as a hallmark of modern architectural design and community-centric planning. The Queen Elizabeth Public School project, led by J.R. Freethy Architect, embodies a seamless blend of heritage and contemporary educational needs.

Details

The Queen Elizabeth Public School Project

Simcoe St. N, Oshawa, ON

Birdhouse Style Cottage for Adults
Birdhouse Concept Cottage for adults
Birdhouse Concept Cottage 3D Model

Project Sustainability

  • 60% Recycled Materials
  • 85% Energy Self-Sufficient
  • 60% Less Construction Waste

Client: Durham District School Board

Completion: 2000

Project Type: Millennial School

Architects: J.R. Freethy Architect

The Queen Elizabeth Public School Project

Introduction

Completed in 2000, Queen Elizabeth Public School on Simcoe Street, north of Oshawa, represents a significant architectural achievement. Initiated in 1990, the project incorporated extensive feedback from facility supervisors and construction experts, ensuring a design that meets modern educational needs while honoring its historical roots.

Detailed Story

The Queen Elizabeth Public School project began in 1990, with the design process taking center stage as the Durham District School Board sought to create a state-of-the-art educational facility. The board purchased the initial design, but J.R. Freethy Architect took the project to new heights by engaging in a thorough consultative process.

J.R. Freethy personally interviewed facility supervisors from various departments to gather comprehensive feedback. This included preferences for energy-efficient windows, ideal classroom sizes, and specific millwork for each room. Additionally, collaboration with the construction supervisor provided practical insights, ensuring that every aspect of the design was both functional and sustainable.

The design phase, including drawing and tendering, was completed in six months. Following this, the construction phase spanned 11 months, culminating in the school’s opening in 2000. Notably, the new school was built directly behind the original 1924 elementary school, with construction taking place just 20 feet from the existing structure. During this period, 15 portables were temporarily relocated to accommodate the build.

The design phase, including drawing and tendering, was completed in six months. Following this, the construction phase spanned 11 months, culminating in the school’s opening in 2000. Notably, the new school was built directly behind the original 1924 elementary school, with construction taking place just 20 feet from the existing structure. During this period, 15 portables were temporarily relocated to accommodate the build.

 

In the summer, after the new building’s completion, the 1924 structure was demolished, making way for a new parking lot. However, elements of the old school were preserved and integrated into the new design. The original stone entrances for boys and girls were retained and set into the interior masonry of the new entrance, creating a bridge between the past and the present.

The two-story building features 24 classrooms, an auditorium, and a versatile gymnasium. The gym includes a multi-functional theatrical stage with folding partitions, allowing it to transform into a lunchroom or examination hall. This innovative design enables the gym to be visible from the main entrance when the partitions are open, creating a welcoming and open atmosphere.

Accessibility was a key consideration in the school’s design, with elevators ensuring full access to all areas of the building. The stage area, often used for lunch, reflects the school’s commitment to student welfare. Located in an area where students might not have regular access to meals, the school benefits from a food program sponsored by the Rotary Club, ensuring that children receive nutritious lunches. Additionally, parent volunteers support a breakfast program, providing morning meals to students and reducing the reliance on fast food brought in by parents.

Overall, the Queen Elizabeth Public School project is a testament to J.R. Freethy Architect’s dedication to creating functional, inclusive, and community-oriented educational spaces. The design not only meets modern standards but also honors the historical significance of the original 1924 building, ensuring that the legacy of Queen Elizabeth Public School continues for future generations.

Featured Projects

EDUCATIONAL

Carleton University

1125 Colonel By Dr, Ottawa, Ontario

COMMUNITY CENTRE

Bowmanville Professional Bldg.

222 King St. East, Bowmanville, ON

INDUSTRIAL

Index Energy Building

170 Mills Rd, Ajax, Ontario

EDUCATIONAL

Centre for Organic Regeneration

Durham College, Whitby, Ontario

Recreational

Adult Treehouse Cottage

Simcoe St. N. , Oshawa, Ontario

EDUCATIONAL

Queen Elizabeth Public School

Simcoe St. N. , Oshawa, Ontario

Entertainment / Leisure

Kawartha Slots

Fraserville, Ontario

Cultural

John Aker Northview Public Library

Oshawa, Ontario

Let's Build Something

J.R. Freethy Architect

Established in 1989, J.R. Freethy Architect is a practice working extensively in Clarington, Durham Region area, Kawartha and Northumberland. J.R. Freethy Architect has successfully implemented a diverse range of projects since the inception of the practice.

Reg Freethy B. Arch., MOAA, MRAIC, is the principal of J. R. Freethy Architect. As the lead architect for the practice, he takes a leadership role in all phases of each project undertaken.