An existing 20,000 sq. ft elementary school was renovated for a combined child care, counselling and high school facility to serve young mothers and their children. A 2300 sq.ft addition added a commercial kitchen and dining area as well as a new atrium entrance providing complete barrier-free access to the whole building. The existing building had a conventional double-loaded corridor plan. The new entrance lobby and double-height atrium space provides visual connection between all program elements. Extensive use was made of interior glazing to give the facility an open, bright and cheerful atmosphere and to promote informal observation of all spaces. Staff report that the interior planning promotes a safe and secure environment for the children, mothers, staff and volunteers.
Adaptive re-use of the former high-school allowed the existing building a second life while providing the Youville Centre with a strong structure in which to grow. The re-use of existing buildings for new uses helps conserve land, energy, and resources while preventing the production of construction waste.