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North Island College Centre of Excellence in Early Learning

Combining education and hands-on teacher training within an active childcare setting

  • 1,780

    Square Metres Building Area

  • 1,910

    Square Metres Outdoor Area

  • Courtenay, British Columbia

    Courtenay, British Columbia

Creating an innovative multi-functional facility that ties to the surrounding natural environment

Located on North Island College’s (NIC) forested Comox Valley campus on Vancouver Island, the Centre of Excellence in Early Learning celebrates the spirit of play while blending with the “campus in the woods” feeling. The centre will train qualified early childhood educators for work in childcare spaces in critical need across the region.

With an innovative child-focused design, this unique multi-functional facility combines education and hands-on learning within an active childcare setting by adding 75 new childcare spaces as well as innovative teaching areas for early childhood educators. The ground-floor “atelier” and the second-floor multipurpose area will encourage community connections and exchange between educators, students, children, and families. Using principles of the Reggio Emilia philosophy, the childcare spaces and surrounding outdoor play areas act as a “third teacher,” providing opportunities for discovery, expression, and connection to nature and the larger community. Our team served as prime consultant for this project, providing architecture, electrical engineering, and acoustics and vibration services.

The centre will offer a contemporary face to NIC that highlights the “wood-first” approach while supporting high-quality, inclusive, and affordable early learning and childcare for families in the community.

At a Glance

  • North Island College
Meet Our Team

Jody Bielun, Intern Architect

Design is a loop—we shape our environment, and our environment shapes us.

Stefan Schulson, Associate

Communication is key to the delivery of our projects—it’s integral to keeping our projects on track and delivered successfully.

Mark Travis, Principal

Success is in relationships and understanding client needs; in making uniquely tailored environments, with every detail well thought out.

Tracie Ferguson, Senior Associate, Acoustics

Acoustical consulting is perfect work for those looking to overlay art and imagination on a solid scientific backbone.
Tracie Ferguson Senior Associate, Acoustics Read More

Jody Bielun

Intern Architect

Stefan Schulson


Mark Travis


Tracie Ferguson

Senior Associate, Acoustics

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