The Arts and Science Centre opened in December 2018. The facility transformation benefits every student in every programme. This is an exciting milestone in our school history: a development that provides unprecedented opportunities for current and future generations of St. John’s students.
The Arts and Science Centre adds 23,000 square feet to our facility. New visual and performing arts studios, science laboratories, a learning commons, MYP homerooms, language classrooms and the rooftop garden provide outstanding academic, co-curricular and social space for our students.
Our teachers worked in extensive consultation with our architect to create a facility that meets the needs of our students and our programmes.
We will inspire children by immersing them in their disciplines.
The Art Studio accommodates painting, drawing and 3-D media. The facility has more than doubled the studio space for our students to experiment with more media, and store and display work.
The Art Studio is a space where all forms of art can be created without limitation and students can explore various media and techniques. Dominico Nguyen, Fine Arts Department Head, and Sandra Hall, MYP Art, championed their clear vision of an innovative studio to empower and inspire artists. The resulting facility is spacious for creation, drying, storage and display. Furniture is on wheels to allow students to create their own workspace depending on their project and medium. Messy materials are accommodated with an easy-to-clean polished cement floor and media such as smelly felt pens, air brushes and spray charcoal are used under the exhaust hood and on the outdoor balcony.
Lighting is an important aspect of understanding and creating art. Suspended and adjustable lighting allows students to manipulate and change light direction. Dimmable lights allow for the calming effect of low light. Natural light from large windows helps students see texture. Dark blinds enable students to view and study projected art work. Ultimately, the studio lighting enables students to deliberately focus on techniques, texture and colour.
Our teachers are committed to immersing students in an environment that will elevate student work. A professional setting for creation and display is two-fold: firstly, completed work will be highly-regarded, suspended from a ceiling grid and posted on the walls. Secondly, the students will be inspired by their opportunities for creation and recognition.
The Music Studio has dedicated spaces for band, choir and drama. Students have practice rooms with recording equipment to critique their work and space to rehearse as ensembles and a massed band.
The Music Room is designed to provide a professional music environment to inspire our students. Bryan Deans, MYP Music Teacher, envisioned a space for individual practising, ensemble rehearsals and massed band opportunities.
The room has many controls to address the unique demands of musicians. Superior ventilation and dedicated temperature control throughout keeps our large ensembles comfortable while they rehearse. Various sound-proof practice rooms are available for students to rehearse independently or in small ensembles. The rooms are equipped with recording equipment to submit work or critique for rehearsal.
The lighting has been deliberately selected to enhance reading music. Zone lighting with colour balance and natural light reduces eye strain. The Music Studio is equipped with a projector to share media and learn theory. Multiple high-voltage power sources accommodate amplifiers and microphones for any configuration of ensemble; and mobile risers meet all configuration needs.
“The Music Department is excited about the new Music Studio as a space to enrich and expand the Music programme. By having dedicated music facilities in the Junior and Senior Schools the students have break-out spaces, practice rooms and more rehearsals opportunities.”
The Drama Studio is equipped with lighting and sound to showcase performances, as well as train a technical crew. Drama students take pride in their dedicated programme space. Andrea Superstein, MYP/DP Drama Teacher, designed an open, flexible space for students to express ideas, explore thoughts and be critical thinkers. The Drama Studio accommodates movement, sets and props. A mirrored wall supports self-critique and a projector facilitates collaboration and instruction.
The Drama curriculum includes technical skills; a control room facilitates lighting and sound instruction for students. Theatre lights, with a professional ceiling grid, and speakers allow students to have hands-on experiential learning. Various outlets keep the room flexible and a black box feel is achieved through screens and drapes. Storage houses costumes for production rehearsals as well as class scenes and assignments. The space also accommodates small audiences for performances.
The new facility includes two experiential science laboratories. The additional laboratories enable students from Grades 6 –12 to have science classes in purpose-built science facilities. Venting enables students to safely conduct chemistry experiments, and laboratory configuration accommodates collaborative work. Teachers are easily able to circulate throughout the classroom to oversee student projects.
We anticipate offering Film as an additional course in the Diploma Programme. Consequently, the Design and Film Studio allows students access to the latest software and recording technologies to support both film and design for our IB DP Visual Arts and MYP Design programme.
The studio includes a sound editing room, specially designed to ensure sound quality when recording. Computers have professional editing software and the film studio includes a chroma key wall for capturing student video and photography. The layout of the room includes wall space for displaying student work and bleachers for screening both professional and student-made films. The studio also features storage for program resources such as photography cameras, video cameras, lights and design supplies. The studio inspires creativity and innovation.
The grade ten design students conducted empathy interviews with DP students to find out their needs and wants for the design studio. The students used Google SketchUp to layout the furnishing and finishes in the new studio space. View student-made examples created to inspire the design process.
The Learning Commons provides a break-out space for current programmes, including study space, presentations, performances and workshop space for students and parents. This additional space allows for more collaborative work, research space, and opportunities to bring specialists into the school to work with students and faculty.
The Learning Commons also serves as a classroom for students taking online Diploma Programme courses with the support of a teacher. This allows us to increase the course options for our Diploma students.
The Rooftop optimizes our urban campus by covering the Senior School and Arts and Science Centre roof. The Rooftop provides an experiential garden and outdoor space in which students learn, play and socialize. The new outdoor space complements the Courtyard playground.
The Atrium is the new social heart of the entire school. This two-level space serves as a meeting area for parents and guests, a social space for students and a showcase for student work. The Atrium has the flexibility to serve as a performance space for celebrating student talent and a gallery to exhibit student art. In addition, the Atrium serves as an indoor/outdoor area to accommodate formal events or student play.
Our vision is becoming a reality through the generous support of our community. The Imagine. Inspire. Create. Capital Campaign has raised over $10.5 million to fund the Arts and Science Centre