The Halifax Independent School is a private day school for students in pre-school through grade 9. The school was started in the early 70’s as a laboratory school in Dalhousie University’s Department of Education. It was originally known as the Dalhousie Experimental School. Over time the school has evolved in its approach to education and size.
Today, their approach to education is unique and is focused on the whole child, not just the intellectual portion. They offer a complete educational curriculum with additional instruction in French, music, and swimming. The material is taught through themes and enrolment increased from the original 30 students to over 150.
When enrolment at the school grew to over 100 students, it became clear that the school needed more room. The staff and parents involved at the school began to search for a larger, more permanent space, and after several years of searching and fundraising, they were able to obtain land on Connaught Avenue for a new building to accommodate their ever growing classes.
The new building opened in 2004, and enrolment continued to increase until it reached capacity in 2006. The new building on Connaught Avenue is a 16,300 sq. ft. school that includes ten classrooms, six co-operative workrooms, a double height music room, a library, a teaching kitchen and a lunchroom with a mini-performance stage. The property that the school sits on is a two acre plot featuring playgrounds, a playing field, and a picnic area.
The building was built to reflect the values of the school, and incorporates environmentally friendly building elements to ensure efficient operation. The walls are “super insulated” to R20 and the roof is insulated to R40. There are large, energy efficient windows that make use of natural light and passive solar energy to heat the building in the winter months. The biggest factor in reducing the environmental impact of this building is the geothermal heat pumps that were installed to provide the heating and cooling needs of the building.
The building is home to two commercial NORDIC® water-to-water units. The two W300 water to water heating only units meet the heating and domestic hot water requirements for the building while maintaining low operating costs and a sustainable future for the school.
The Halifax Independent School has a long tradition of innovation and embracing change, by building an energy efficient school that embraces environmental sustainability, the Halifax Independent School is able to set a leading example for their students and the parents who are involved with the school.