By Head of School Mark Turner and Board Chair Tim McGee, QC
We are delighted to have this opportunity to present you with a summary of the SMUS Campus Master Plan which is the school’s vision of how the Richmond Road campus should evolve to meet the main priorities of Floreat, our 10-year strategic plan. We have intentionally decided to launch this at the beginning of our Jubilee year, as we celebrate the historic amalgamation of St. Michael’s School and University School.
First some context. Although it seems like a long time ago, in fact it was only in January 2020 that we unveiled Floreat. This was based on the broadest-ever consultation undertaken by a Canadian school and constructed on our four priorities: Foundation, Preparation for Life, Sustainability and Community.
From that plan, we decided it was important to identify the projects that we felt would be required to hand over to our school by 2030; fit for the purposes of future generations. The Campus Master Plan has been presented to and discussed by numerous focus groups and was unanimously approved by our Board of Governors on December 10, 2020. You will see that it is an exciting vision, ambitious yet achievable, focused around restoring some of our best heritage buildings, giving the Junior and Middle Schools a once-in-a-generation improvement, and excitingly embracing the future of artificial intelligence, robotics and other areas of the fast-moving technology sector with a new STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) Centre. Download a summary of the Campus Master Plan [.pdf] to learn more.
Some points to note:
- The Junior School does not appear in this Campus Master Plan. This is because it has been identified as a longstanding priority that needs to move forward with appropriate urgency. Parents at the Junior School will have noted that over the summer the portables were moved to create space for the construction zone of a proposed exciting two-storey annex. This will provide a state-of-the-art facility that gives extra space for new classrooms, which have been made necessary by the expansion of Junior School enrolment over the last decade. The project will be completed within the existing footprint of the Junior School campus and is planned to be delivered by the beginning of the 2023-24 academic year.
- At the Richmond Road campus, key projects have been identified in line with the Jubilee theme of “past, present and future.” These three projects are: a Heritage Gallery and Courtyard; a Middle School Expansion; and a Science Centre STEAM Expansion. We are currently working on a timeline to deliver all three projects by 2030. Please note that the images presented in the Community Summary are artist’s impressions only. Each project will be architecturally designed to ensure that the buildings are of the highest quality and of a style to complement our existing campus.
- It is important to note that although these three priorities for construction have been confirmed, we will also be investing in our existing infrastructure. Many of you will have seen that work is already underway on the Wenman Pavilion. We are also working on plans for an ongoing refurbishment of our boarding facilities to ensure they continue to meet our high standards. The quality of our two-student ensuite rooms have been a major factor in the recruitment of outstanding boarding students from a diverse range of countries. We aim to maintain this strategic advantage.
Additionally, we will also be seeking to invest in the SMUS Rowing Centre on the Gorge Waterway, along with ensuring that the Derby facility on Shelbourne Street is used to maximum advantage. Our consultation phase confirmed that many parents are interested in the development of science and new technologies, which we anticipate will evolve at an accelerating rate. We also found comments from our extended diaspora of almost 10,000 alumni that the spirit of place – genius loci – left an indelible impression on them. Gracious places encourage gracious thoughts. Maintaining this, the heritage feel of our campus is important and will contribute towards the quality of the learning experience we can offer our students in the future.
It is a reasonable question to ask how all of this will be afforded. The school looks at the Floreat vision of solid financial foundations. As we go through the decade, we will however, need to appeal for the full participation and philanthropic support of our extended community if the Campus Master Plan is to be achieved. Former generations over the last 50 years since amalgamation have given incredibly generously to ensure that our current students have world-class facilities. It will be important that we all play our part in ensuring that the same can be said in the future. We will be delivering a once in a generation ‘Journey for Life’ Capital Campaign, and hope and expect that everyone will wish to play their part. In addition, we will engage with members of the community to offer small group information sessions in the new Floreat Lounge, where we have audio-visual and physical displays to inform anyone who would like to learn more. Adrienne Davidson, Director of Advancement & Campaigns, is available to provide further information or to arrange for a visit. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 604-803-7551.
We are at the beginning of this exciting juncture for SMUS, as we reflect on the generosity of previous generations over the course of the last 50 years and brace ourselves for the challenge of future-proofing our school over the next 10 years.
Head of School