The Red River Valley School Division (RRVSD) was seeking to consolidate the existing Morris School Autobody Shop and the Red River Technical Vocational Area St. Jean Welding Shop into a new, purpose-built training facility. Situated in a rural location, the goal of the RRSVD was to improve access for students, who previously had to bus to three separate locations to complete their vocational studies.
Together with the Public Schools Finance Board (PSFB) and RRVSD, our team led an integrated design process (IDP) to identify needs and functional requirements for the shop. Intensive programming exercises were conducted alongside client consultation to ensure that the facility accommodated the unique industrial applications required for two distinct vocational programs to function seamlessly under one roof.
The new LEED Silver Certified facility includes workshops, classrooms, offices, and mechanical and storage space. Within the shop are 14 welding stalls, an auto body shop with five vehicles bays, and an integrated self-contained down draft paint booth for hands-on teaching and training. An exterior storage compound provides a secure space for the autobody and welding shop and stores large student projects, materials, and metal recycling. The storage area is protected by a cantilevered roof on the north side of the building where the addition joins the existing Morris School.
Key sustainability features include a solar wall on the southern side to pre-heat incoming fresh air along with high-efficiency boilers to reduce energy consumption. The western façade is strategically oriented to maximize natural light with tall glazed overhead doors. Rooftop drainage systems capture water and divert it to the landscape of native plants that are appropriate for the climate and easy to maintain.