Sk’elep School of Excellence

Location

Kamloops, BC

Completion

2009

Size

1,719 square metres

Structural Engineer

Equilibrium Consulting

Species

Western red cedar

Western Hemlock

Sub-alpine fir

Project Owner

Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc Indian Band

Project Materials

Glue-laminated timber (Glulam)

Siding

Structural Systems

Hybrid / Other

Low rise

Post + beam

The Sk’elep School of Excellence offers children a bright and unique timber structure in which to learn tradition with the tactics of modern education
  • A warm, welcoming elementary school playing a pivotal role in the language and cultural development of children of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc nation. 
  • Innovative timber design effectively forms the wood version of a concrete waffle slab. 
  • The school gymnasium features an elegant hybrid between glue-laminated timber (glulam) beams and a king-post truss. 

As one of the largest Indigenous elementary schools in the province, the Sk’elep School of Excellence plays a vital role in teaching and preserving the culture and language of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc. It offers elementary grades (fulltime kindergarten to Grade 7) with a vision of combining tradition with the tactics of modern education to provide students with an encompassing future. The school plays a vital role not only in elementary education but as a hub for community and capacity building.  

Innovative hybrid timber design 

The school’s geometric design rises boldly from the benchlands above the North Thompson River. Its exterior palette of corrugated metal cladding, stucco, western red cedar, and cultured stone blends fittingly with the dry, desert-like terrain. The structure features innovative timber two-way lattice made of sawn hem–fir timber elements. The grids effectively form the wood version of a concrete waffle slab. The gymnasium’s roof trusses consist of an elegant hybrid between glue-laminated timber (glulam) beams and a king-post truss. To achieve this, a pair of glulam beams, symmetrical to the centre line, connect into a king-post truss with double steel-rod bottom chords. This unique timber structure is one of the first of its kind in Canada. 

Post & Beam wooden construction feature predominantly in this late evening photo of the low rise Kwakiutl Wagalus School which used panelized wood and prefabrication to decrease onsite build duration
Kwakiutl Wagalus School

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Exterior afternoon view of low rise Seabird Island Community School with unique trapezoidal cedar-clad roof, built with solid-sawn heavy timber, plywood, and post + beam
Lalme’ Iwesawtexw | Seabird Island Community School

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Interior daytime view from second floor of multi storey Alberni District Secondary School looking along entire front expanse and showing numerous glue-laminated timber (Glulam) columns supporting lumber roof joists
Alberni District Secondary School

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Interior daytime view of low rise Cordova Bay Elementary School showing wood paneling, ceiling, and accents throughout. Picture taken after seismic upgrades using nail-laminated timber (NLT) and cross-laminated timber (CLT)
Cordova Bay Elementary School

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