St. Joseph’s High School, Technical Hub Addition
Renfrew, Ontario


As part of developing programs to introduce youth to the trades and cater to increased enrolment demands, the Renfrew County Catholic District School Board determined that better, on-site facilities were required at St. Joseph’s High School. The addition provides over 15,000sq.ft. of mixed-use space consisting of 6 new academic classrooms, a vocational room for cookery and aesthetics, as well as technical shops for mechanics, metalworking and carpentry. All areas, including new washrooms and other support spaces are barrier free.

St. Joseph’s High School, Technical Hub Addition
Renfrew, Ontario


The design of the original school was developed to accommodate future sectional additions to the east and west. The west end became the ideal location for this new hub as it best accommodates the requirements for adjoining exterior space.

Construction was partially pre-engineered to meet aggressive schedules for September 2007 occupancy. A high performance building envelope and coordinated exterior materials and techniques were employed for exceptional long-term function. Interior design incorporated client’s desire to leave systems exposed for passive learning within a vocational environment. Finishes employed were attractive and low maintenance.

St. Joseph’s High School, Technical Hub Addition
Renfrew, Ontario

Goals / Challenges

  • Provision of specialized mechanics, metalworking and carpentry shops for vocational instruction and to make the environment a ‘learning laboratory’ for building construction and mechanical and electrical infrastructure.
  • Integration of the new shops into the existing school with fire-rated glass viewing areas.
  • Design had to meet an aggressive schedule and special design was required to allow continued use of the facility throughout the construction period while maintaining life safety and exiting for building occupants.
  • A high water table and poor bearing capacity of the soils posed challenges for the design team, which were overcome by means of high density insulation for back fill under the floor slabs.
  • Due to close proximity to a creek, stormwater management was a concern requiring the roof of the addition to be designed to accommodate water ponding for a ‘100 year storm’ and avoid emptying into the watershed. This increased structural and plumbing requirements for the roof.

Tear Sheet


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