Course loads can be daunting for university and college students right out of high school but so can the transition to an immense learning environment. That’s where Southpointe Academy’s latest addition will greatly benefit its senior classes.
Last Monday, the Tsawwassen independent school officially opened its Senior School Campus. It’s located directly across 56th Street from the main campus and just steps away from the growing academy’s original home it departed a decade ago.
The near 13,000 square feet of additional space features two levels with eight class rooms and an ample student area for collaborative learning. Planning for the expansion began about 18 months ago and the renovation of the former Tsawwassen Athletic Club commenced nine months later.
“The intent of the design was to create a space that is tailored to an older student, that emulates a university type setting,” explained Southpointe Head of School Gordon MacIntyre. “The feedback from our students has been overwhelmingly positive. They love the flexibility of the space that is available to them here. Because our students will have study blocks in their schedule, to provide additional breakout spaces, learning spaces and social spaces to work in the building when they are not in class is a really important component of their learning.”
The senior students still frequent the main campus for a number of amenities including the dining hall, library and fitness studios, as well as some specialty classes such as band and theatre. Travelling back-and-forth between buildings only prepares for what they are in store for at post-secondary institutions.
“It gives them the true campus experience where they spend the majority of the time here but they still have the benefits of accessing the facilities and amenities at the main campus,” continued MacIntyre. “We feel this experience will really benefit them when they go off to post-secondary studies. They will be used to managing those transitions. They will be used to that type of university environment, schedule and routine that sometimes has them moving between buildings.”
The Senior School Campus also opens up additional space at the main campus as the academy’s enrollment numbers continue to increase.
“Our school is growing. We are receiving very high interest and increasingly our school is comprised of local families. Almost 45 percent of the school is now local families that live in Delta, so in order to accommodate that growth, we wanted to create an additional learning space for the senior campus,” added MacIntyre.
“We know as the school grows and matures, we have a longer term master campus plan. It would see us looking to construct additional facilities on our current site at some point in the future. In the meantime, we can create a very state of the art space for our senior students that accommodates them and also allows us to grow the school.”