Westdale School, Pembina Trails School Division

Address:6720 Betsworth Avenue
Original Use:Educational
Other Work:Addition in 1974
Architects:Moody Moore Duncan Rattray Peters Searle Christie
MMP (1974 Addition)
Firms:Moody Moore Duncan Rattray Peters Searle Christie, MMP
Contractors:D. E. Cross (Structural)
Dominion Bridge (Steel providers)

More Information

Westdale Middle School has an enrollment of 260 students in Grade 7, 8, and 9; it shares a large yard with Beaverlodge Elementary School.

This is an early example of the open-air concept of teaching and learning which arrived in Canada from the United States; children learn by self-discovery and at different rates so traditional grades blend and students learn in part from each other.

Design Characteristics

  • External stimuli were kept at a minimum because the classrooms were already bustling places, so windows were reduced or eliminated; in this case, a strong of clerestory windows in the classrooms provides natural light through the upper wall; classrooms were much larger and often grouped around a resource centre; many of these large classes have since been divided
  • The flat bank walls were also somewhat more energy efficient and certainly more cost-efficient to build, both important considerations for school boards
  • Westdale School has mainly plain walls, in a sculptural design that emphasizes its bulk and its broad reach on the site
  • As a middle years school, it has a shops wing, a large gym and a large library/resource centre with a spiral staircase on the plans; in 1974, another large wing was added to increase the industrial arts facilities, which brought the school to its present plan; the masonry cladding was replaced in 1992