First Look at Renderings and Plans for New HWDSB Lower City High School and Bernie Morelli Recreation Centre

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Maclennan Jaunkkalns Miller Architects and SVEDAS Architects [In Joint Venture]

Overhead Rendering of the new HWDSB Lower City High School (bottom right L shape) and new Bernie Morelli Recreation Centre.

Just before Christmas (2015), the Planning Departments Development Review Team held a meeting to look at plans for the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board's planned high school at 1055 King Street East and the City of Hamilton's planned Bernie Morelli Recreation Centre at 876 Cannon Street East.

The proposals are being considered jointly as they will share the entire city block bound by King, Melrose, Cannon, and Balsam. Both buildings are separate and will not share any utilities or other critical infrastructure.

New High School Proposal

Rendering of the HWDSB's new North High School looking northeast from the southwest corner of King and Melrose.

Maclennan Jaunkkalns Miller Architects and SVEDAS Architects [In Joint Venture]

Rendering of the HWDSB's new North High School looking northeast from the southwest corner of King and Melrose.

The new HWDSB lower city school is proposed to be three stories with technical education space on the first floor east wing. The gymnasium and multi-use rooms are located on the first floor west wing with an entrance that will allow this area to be isolated from the rest of the building for public use outside of school hours.

First floor rendering for new lower city high school.

Maclennan Jaunkkalns Miller Architects and SVEDAS Architects (In Joint Venture) / (City of Hamilton Planning Application File)

First floor rendering for new lower city high school.

The site plans show a separate third LRT track to be built off street at the front of the high school. This will enable the stationing of a LRT train for crowds leaving the stadium and possible use of a "school extra" train at the beginning of rush hour to handle the capacity crunch during end of school day dismissal.

With the HWDSB hoping to have the high school open for 2018, this could be third track could be the first part of the LRT built.

Rendering showing third LRT track proposed for front of new Lower City high school

Maclennan Jaunkkalns Miller Architects and SVEDAS Architects (In Joint Venture) / (City of Hamilton Planning Application File)

Rendering showing third LRT track proposed for front of new Lower City high school

Another interesting part of the plans is a proposed running track on the second level directly above the gymnasium. With both the new high school and recreation centres proposing running tracks, it is possible one will be removed between the two buildings as the plans progress and budget savings are sought.

Bernie Morelli Recreation Centre

A rendering of the proposed design of the Bernie Morelii Recreation Centre as seen from the Northeast corner of Balsam and Cannon looking to the Southwest

Maclennan Jaunkkalns Miller Architects and SVEDAS Architects [In Joint Venture]

A rendering of the proposed design of the Bernie Morelii Recreation Centre as seen from the Northeast corner of Balsam and Cannon looking to the Southwest

Proposed at two storeys, the new recreation centre will feature its own pool with a pedestrian connect to the historic Jimmy Thompson pool, making for two pools in the overall recreation facility.

Originally proposed as a seniors centre, the building is now a full recreation centre including a full gymnasium, dance rooms, multiple purpose room, cafeteria, kitchen, youth room, and billiards room in addition to the new pool. A running track is proposed on the second floor above the gym.

Plans for the first floor gymnasium area of the Bernie Morelli Recreation Centre.

Maclennan Jaunkkalns Miller Architects and SVEDAS Architects (In Joint Venture) / (City of Hamilton Planning Application File)

Plans for the first floor gymnasium area of the Bernie Morelli Recreation Centre.

Common Courtyard

The renderings also show a common courtyard - on the City portion of the property - connecting the two facilities and designed to provide public space for events related to the stadium.

A rendering of the proposed courtyard between the two facilities. (As a bonus, check out the LRT train in the top left - this is the first planning file to include a LRT train in the rendering)

Maclennan Jaunkkalns Miller Architects and SVEDAS Architects (In Joint Venture) / (City of Hamilton Planning Application File)

A rendering of the proposed courtyard between the two facilities. (As a bonus, check out the LRT train in the top left - this is the first planning file to include a LRT train in the rendering)

Parking and Traffic

Parking for the new high school will be at 60 Balsam Avenue North, the former Parkview Secondary site. The urban design brief for the joint projects states the intersection of Balsam and Cannon may require a traffic light to serve pedestrian and vehicle traffic to the new facilities.

Next Steps

The City of Hamilton will issue public notices for a Planning Committee hearing on the proposal. No tentative date is yet set for the hearing.

10 thoughts on “First Look at Renderings and Plans for New HWDSB Lower City High School and Bernie Morelli Recreation Centre

  1. Perhaps parking for the new high school should be on the lower level (underground). As a teacher needs to lug books and reports and marking, and projects, and materials, and laptops, often at the same time, the distance between parking and school is ridiculous and harmful to the health and welfare of the teachers involved. In the dark, and icy cold of winter, snow on sidewalks, it will be treacherous. If parking is not resolved adequately, I foresee litigation against the Board for slipping and falling accidents to and from the school from the parking area.

  2. As a former student of Scott Park Secondary School, I can say that the idea for school parking at the old Parkview school is a ridiculous one. It may be fine for the rec centre, but even that’s pushing it. Will there be no ice rink then? It’s a shame if the city doesn’t plan for one. The ice rink was an important part of that area and should be part of the plans. Also, I see nothing in these plans for outdoor sports for the students of this new high school. Why should the city take away that right from the future students. Field hockey, soccer, baseball, softball were all sports that we as former students enjoyed and the community surrounding the school enjoyed as well. I remember little league games being played in the park there all the time. It’s nice that we can move forward in planning for a better future but I believe this plan has not been thought through as it should. Maybe some things need to be thought out.

    • The City is building sports fields at the Dominion Glass site north of Barton as part of the overall project.

  3. We have lived on Melrose for 30 years and would like more info about the part of the school facing our homes we do not want a parking lot or entrance to shop class at our front doors several neighbours feel the same. We feel this will give the alley effect to us on the street unless you move it further than 20 metres. from the street, also blocking the sun from our homes. Please keep us updated on your plans.Thank you

    • Building is about to begin and yet no response to any of the neighbours concerns about the layout of the building, the street and pArking issues. Why ask us if we are not even being appeased with a response.

  4. We the residents are concerned, no one has informed us about our issues concerning the school making us feel closed in. no new information meetings no letter in our mail boxes with information just all of the sudden fencing is up and bingo, now signs of construction site. Wow thank you for considering tax payers who work hard to keep the future of our street Sunny and Happy for children in the future when we are gone. This city needs to plan and develop with your community and we will remember this when we vote next session.

  5. Once again another disgusted thing to happen to our street, come see what our city or school board has done to our street 15 trees removed and they are probably planning a driveway on the same street we fought so hard to have removed over 20 years ago and had trees planted as well.What happened to the promise of green space wow lie after lie is right on. I have spoken to Matthew green on emails and plan on other actions as well this has to stop. Communication is nil accept for the construction company that has informed us of possible damages from digging on our street for pipes and sewers. So whom will respond to us now that you have destroyed our park like setting.

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