The Swan Valley School Division (SVSD) needed a bright, clean, efficient space to house their Heavy Duty Mechanics Program. Republic Architecture Inc. was engaged by SVSD and the Public Schools Finance Board (PSFB) to design a solution that allowed students to work on large-scale equipment such as heavy machinery, semi-trucks, and agricultural equipment.
The core design goals for the project were to create a highly efficient, durable, and low-maintenance building with safety and functionality serving as benchmarks. Working with SVSD and PSFB, our team developed a design that incorporates large windows with daylight sensor lighting to maximize natural light and reduce energy consumption. A solar wall on the southwest corner preheats air entering the building ventilation system, reducing the energy required to heat the building and meeting the demands of the vehicle exhaust extraction system. Materials such as concrete block masonry walls and polished concrete floors were selected for their long-term durability and low maintenance costs.
The new shop features state-of-the-art tools that allow the existing program to enroll more full-time students and to add post-secondary introductory level courses. A drive-through bay for large equipment, four bays for working on small to mid-sized equipment and vehicles, and classroom space for training were some of the features of the new space. A fully automated overhead ten-tonne gantry crane capable of elevating a semi-truck was incorporated, providing students with practical experience that was previously only available at a post-secondary level.