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Kensington Prairie Community Centre Wins BC Award of Excellence

side view of Kensington Prairie Community Centre

August 06, 2012

Surrey – The City of Surrey has won a 2012 Heritage BC Award for Outstanding Achievement, its highest honour, for the project to convert, rehabilitate and restore the former Kensington Prairie Elementary School.

“By preserving and repurposing Kensington Prairie Elementary School, which is a designated heritage site, we took great care in honouring the past while creating a unique and holistic community centre to serve the needs of the growing neighbourhood,” says Mayor Dianne Watts.

The City of Surrey commissioned Taylor Kurtz Architecture + Design Inc. to design exterior and interior renovations to the existing school, adjacent annex, and gymnasium.

“Particular focus was given to the conservation of the 1914 school, which played an integral role in the lives of local children until its closure in 2006,” says Councillor Barbara Steele, Chair of the Surrey Heritage Advisory Commission. She adds the new community centre celebrated its grand opening in September, 2011.

The project plan was created and overseen by a heritage consultant, and guided by federal conservation standards. Where possible, exterior character defining elements, such as the wooden triangular brackets and trim boards, were repaired and reinstated in their original location. The historic colour schedule was restored based on paint samples removed from the building, and an original painted wall sign with the historic school name on the north façade was salvaged and restored.

The renovations included the restoration of the historic rubble-stone foundation, the removal of the existing stucco cladding from the exterior walls, the installation of new cedar shingles and siding to match original, the reconstruction of the elevated entrance porch and double staircase, and the replication of the sash windows.

The award will be presented to the City of Surrey, Taylor-Kurtz Architecture + Design Inc, and Donald Luxton and Associates Inc at the 2012 Heritage BC Awards presentation ceremony on October 19, at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts in Burnaby.

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Media Contact:

Tara Foslien
Senior Communications Specialist
Office of the Mayor
604.375.4584