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Bolton high school seniors present plans for Humber River Centre to Town staff

January 19, 2023   ·   0 Comments

Ward 5 Councillor Tony Rosa helped organize project for Design and Technology class

By Zachary Roman

High school students from St. Michael Catholic Secondary School are playing a part in the design of the Humber River Centre.

The Humber River Centre is going to be a unique new multipurpose community space in Downtown Bolton. The Old Bolton Fire Station is being extensively renovated to become the Humber River Centre, and according to the Town of Caledon it will be opening this Fall. 

Grade 12 students in Lisa Radenovic’s Design and Technology class were tasked with creating plans for the Humber River Centre as a culminating project worth 25 per cent of their final grade.

The project was made possible thanks to a connection made between Radenovic, Ward 5 Councillor Tony Rosa, and the Town of Caledon.

“Students are in a university-level Grade 12 course, looking to pursue a career in design in some capacity,” said Rosa. “The idea is that they have to sit down to solve a design problem as their culminating activity… in a technological studies program, we don’t rely on written exams to be the heaviest evaluation, we believe that the knowledge and understanding of the program should be seen through a project.”

Rosa explained that, in curriculum documents, it suggests that the work students do should be connected to their community. He said in conversations with Radenovic, she brought up the Humber River Centre renovations, and asked Rosa if a project could be arranged. Rosa said it’s always great for students when they can work on a project with real-world implications.

“Every day, they bring forward their ideas and put them together,” said Rosa, noting the students worked on the project as one big team with different students taking on different roles. 

On January 18, Town of Caledon staff visited St. Michael’s to hear a presentation from the students on their plans for the centre.

In attendance were Sandra Sharpe, Manager of the Mayor and Council’s office; Tom Darlow, Manager of Corporate Facilities; and Sherry Brake, Supervisor of Capital Projects. They heard the students’ presentation and then offered advice and asked questions. When the presentation concluded, Brake noted the plans the students came up with were quite similar to what the Town has planned for the Humber River Centre.

The students suggested the Town name rooms at the Humber River Centre based on the history of Bolton, as well as Indigenous groups from the area, in order to give the rooms some character. The students imagined many groups of Caledon residents using the centre, such as businesses, students, children, and seniors. They then designed specific elements to meet the needs of these groups, such as a private study room for students and an innovation space with 3D printers and computers for businesses.

The students also made sure their designs were accessible to everyone, including critical features like braille and wheelchair accessibility. For the old fire station doors, the students imagined linking outdoor space with indoor space when they’re open for a large community space.

When thinking about the lobby, the students designed it to be as inviting as possible with the reception desk visible when one walks in, in case they have any questions or require assistance. They also suggested placing an Indigenous mural in a prominent location in the lobby.

The students presented plans for a recreation room, meeting rooms, study rooms and more as part of their comprehensive presentation to Town staff.

Brake said the designs the students made were quite similar to designs an architect would present to the Town. 

“The roll-up doors in the event space, greenery, natural light,” said Brake. “Kudos to you, that’s great work.”

Darlow said he loved the students’ ideas for naming the rooms, adding it’s something the Town can easily implement in the project.

Students in the St. Michael’s hospitality and tourism program have been undertaking work connected to their community too, as they’ve been preparing food for The Exchange, Caledon’s source of food support for families in need that’s run by Caledon Community Services.



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