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St. John Paul II Catholic School

Bringing faith, family, and 21st century design

  • 8613

    Square Metres

  • $32M

    Construction Value

  • Grande Prairie, Alberta

    Grande Prairie, Alberta

This iconic high school includes a commercial theatre marked by a stunning façade that represents the beautiful Alberta prairies

Grande Prairie and District Catholic Schools’s pedagogy is to create spaces that help grades become families—to better build relationships and transition students. So, it was essential that their new 7–12 high school, with a capacity of 1,000 students, would meet this philosophy.

The design of the school minimizes the old-style, dual-loaded corridors with classrooms on either side. Instead, learning spaces are clustered together in groups—or families—that expand with movable glass walls, helping students to excel in supportive, collaborative spaces. The school houses a music classroom with three acoustically-isolated practice rooms and a drama room that opens onto a flex area to allow for small performances.

A large commercial kitchen serves as a learning space and supports catering during special events. Career and technology studies (CTS) spaces are abundant, including woodworking, welding, cosmetology, early childhood/daycare, and life skills. Traditional spaces such as libraries, computer areas, and science labs are brought out of isolation and positioned as large public gathering areas.

The hallmark of the St. John Paul II Catholic School is the three-story commercial theater which includes a green room, two dressing rooms, a ticket booth, lighting booth, and audio booth. With an iconic design focusing on faith, function, and family, the new St. John Paul II Catholic School delivers a modern learning experience for Grade Prairie students.

At a Glance

A4LE Design Award, Project Category – New Building Outstanding Design, 2019
Meet Our Team

Heather Bretz, Principal, Architecture

For many of us, some of our first memories of buildings come from our schools—spaces that I believe should be welcoming, healthy, and inspiring.

Micheal Williamson, Landscape Architect

Pay attention to the world around you; think about how to improve public life. As professionals, we increase quality of public life for all.

Rory Smith, Principal

Structural engineering is the frame supporting infrastructure and buildings essential to our lives—like schools, places of work, and homes.

Heather Bretz

Principal, Architecture

Micheal Williamson

Landscape Architect

Rory Smith


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