Banff Elementary school

Client Town of Banff | Location Banff, AB | Size Phase 1: 2,150m2; Phase 2: 2,750m2 | Completion Phase 1: 2017; Phase 2: Ongoing


Collaborative learning in the Rocky Mountains.

Banff Elementary School is the newest place of learning in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains for students enrolled from Kindergarten to Grade 8. What was initially funded as a modernization to an existing elementary school has evolved into a two-phase replacement school for Canadian Rockies Public Schools (CRPS). GEC worked extensively with the Town of Banff, the Canadian Rockies School Division, Parks Canada, Alberta Infrastructure and Alberta Learning to develop a comprehensive solution for the existing elementary school on Elk and Squirrel Street, which kept the original school safely operational through construction, as well as through the first phase of construction.

Banff Elementary School has been designed as a environmentally sustainable, two-storey building where shared spaces such as the gymnasium, learning commons and administration suite are centralized off of a main circulation spine, as well as two two-storey classroom wings. Collaboration space for students and staff is provided off of the main entry and acts as the ‘social hub’ of the school, which provides crush space when the gymnasium is used for large functions and gatherings. An adjacent multi-purpose room featuring a fully-operable, retractable wall allows it to open up to the main circulation spine and collaboration space. The school’s second floor library is the ‘heart’ of the school and has been designed as a learning commons, visually and physically open to the rest of the building. The roof features photovoltaic panels, which help meet the energy requirements of the building and meet the strict environmental standards for Banff National Park as set out by Parks Canada.

The second phase of Banff Elementary School will be completed in 2019 and will provide community spaces such as classrooms for their Out of School Care Program, a larger gymnasium to accommodate community and competitive events, and additional storage and locker room spaces. This phase also involves the demolition of the old school in accordance with Parks Canada and LEED requirements for land fill, recycling, and segregation of building materials.


2019.01 - A First Look!