As one of the largest First Nations 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.
The school’s geometric design rises boldly from the benchlands above the North Thompson River. Its exterior palette of corrugated metal cladding, stucco, cedar, and cultured stone blends fittingly with the dry, desert-like terrain. The structure features an 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 center line, connect together 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.