By | On September 2, 2014 | Dedication, News

Across the province students are flooding back to school today and Snyder Architects is proud of the fact that 20 of our school projects will be opening their doors to accept thousands of them as they kick off the new school year. We wish these students all the best and hope that the strategies and innovations we have implemented make learning both fun and rewarding for years to come.

St. Benedict Catholic Elementary School

Two years ago, Snyder Architects presented a new vision for the Halton Catholic District School Board’s next generation of schools as part of a very student-focused design. The overall theme is light and spirit! Today a new group of 671 students will be able to experience the realization of this vision as the new $12.6M St. Benedict Catholic Elementary School opens it’s doors at McLaughlin Avenue and Bronte Street South in Oakville.


St. Benedict CES nears the end of construction. August 2014.

Students enter  the school via a bright, naturally lit, two-storey entrance foyer, flanked by the office on one side and the library on the other. The location of the office is ideal as the first point of control with good supervision of the entrance and the bus loop outside. Directly ahead are wide feature steps leading up to the stage / forum that can either open to the foyer, to the stage, or both. Above this soars a bright and cheerful two-storey atrium and circulation corridor, rich in architectural detail and flooded with natural light from above creating the feeling of openness and light. The library at the corner is also a two-storey space with a wall of glass facing the street, maximizing the sense of engagement with the community.  The design introduces daylight into the gyms through clerestories running the length of each gym – kids can learn and play in a space flooded with natural light.

On the second floor, the Art room occupies a prominent location with a corner window to the street with visual access to the library and the foyer below. This creates transparency and connects the school while aiding passive supervision. The rest of the layout remains compact and efficient.  The corridors have good sightlines for supervision with access to light and views at the ends, which maintain a connection to the outdoors.


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Block 40 CES

Also opening its doors to students this September is York Catholic District School Board Block 40 CES, the latest of several new schools Snyder Architects designed for the Board to embody the spirit of light and community. The two-storey school – designed to support 694 students – features kindergartens, classrooms, special education and, science rooms, gymnasium, library, and multi-use rooms that can adapt to the diverse needs of students and the larger community.

Thank You

Snyder Architects would like to thank the hundreds of skilled workers and tradespeople who worked together to execute these exciting projects. Without their tireless efforts none of this would be possible.


For more information, or to schedule an interview with Doug Snyder, please contact Dave Brohman at 416.966.5444 x290 or email Dave at

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