For the Students, by the Students: The New Student Life Centre 

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The new Student Life Centre is a vibrant new space on campus, designed for the students by the students! Read on to see how this project came to life through the vision, creativity and determination of our Middle and Upper School students.  

This hip new hangout was made possible by the generous donations of our community through the ISP FUND.

Part lounge, part homework spot, part teen hang-out, the recently unveiled Student Life Centre is always full of life. Whether to read a book, play a game with friends, or do some homework, this dynamic and beautifully designed area is always buzzing with activity.  The space is made even more warm and welcoming by Brody, our ISP Support Dog, who likes to chill out on the couches and collect cuddles… it’s hard not to smile when you walk by.

The Student Life Centre is a seamless addition to this section of the school, located across from the Middle and Upper School Counselor’s office, and while it may seem like it’s always been there, it didn’t pop up overnight.  In fact, the development of the Student Life Centre was a lengthy one and involved many months of planning and dedication from teams of students, ranging in grades from across the Middle and Upper Schools. 

“To start the project, a form was sent out to all students to gather their ideas for the space. We then split up into small groups to sort through the ideas and pick the best ones to send to the designer.”

Danii, Grade 7

During the process of redesigning a space, many considerations arise, ranging from practical decisions like selecting seating options and arranging furniture to aesthetic elements such as the color palette, mood, and fabric textures. Among these also include creating a budget for the project. 

Students took on the responsibility for every part of this project from formulating the proposal to devising a budget, presenting the concept to Dr. Kimball for approval, and collaborating closely with designers from Studio X. Once the students submitted their ideas, the designers came back with two themes (“shore” and “garden” – as shown in the drawings) and students chose the garden.

While many students were involved in the project, especially in the beginning, it was Jacqui, in Grade 10, who assumed the role of project manager. She steered the entire course of the project, bringing it from the initial stages of conception to completion.

“It was an amazing experience overall, both the result and the process. It taught me so much about organization, independence, and leadership, as well as responsibility and time management. I worked on the Student Life Centre for almost a year, organizing various events and projects around it, and working towards the reconstruction that happened over the summer. I worked with many different people and I learned more about professionalism and how the school works. I also worked closely with the community, whom I gathered feedback from on multiple occasions when I was developing a plan. I’m very happy with the outcome of the project and incredibly grateful for all the things I learned in the process. There is no better feeling than seeing something you put so much time and hard work into come together.”

Jacqui, Grade 10

If you ask students what the best parts of the SLC are, some may say watching a game during breaks, having a place to reset during the day, playing with Brody, or spending time with friends.  Teachers add one important observation to this list: the Middle School and Upper School students are cohabitating in the space beautifully.  

If you haven’t checked out the new Student Life Centre yet, take a look! You might just feel compelled to sit and stay awhile.

“One of our hopes when designing the Student Life Centre was that students would have more opportunities to mingle and create new friendships in a well-thought-out space. The reality exceeded our expectations; students are not only sharing equal ownership of the space and show that by taking good care of it, but we also see a great atmosphere created during common MS/US breaks and lunch times. Students use the space to chat, relax, play games, as well as work. I am excited about what else this space will allow for student cooperation and culture.”

Nina Horáková, Upper School Counsellor (grades 9, 10)


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Please consider making a gift to ISP Fund in 2023/24.