The 171,150 sqft secondary school in Chisasibi, Quebec is designed in close collaboration with the school board and community. During the preliminary consultation, the importance of bringing together modern design and traditional Cree cultural elements was identified. Once the cultural importance of placing the building's main access on the east side and integrating the iconic teepee in this spot was established, the entrance’s design was done in close collaboration with a young Cree woman with a background in architecture. Inspired by the winding path of the Grande Rivière and the constructive elements of the teepee, the main entrance is meant to be a place of transition.
Due to the collaborative planning effort, the design team can adapt the government space allocation standards to the local context and requirements. It was decided to integrate multiple collaborative spaces of various dimensions adjacent to the classrooms. The design also includes an agora, a central gathering place in the heart of the school, a space dedicated to the passing of knowledge between elders and students, as well as a support services centre for students (academic, emotional, health).
The Chisasibi Secondary School accommodates over 550 students and includes standard classrooms, reduced-size classrooms, resource rooms, and specialized classrooms. The design also includes 10 Cree cultural classrooms or learning spaces, an auditorium, a gymnasium, and a cafeteria. The new facility is designed to allow sharing of the sport’s sector and auditorium outside of school hours and is scheduled to be completed in the Summer of 2023.