Grant Sine Public School

780 D’Arcy Street, Cobourg, ON.

An early work of architect Eberhard Zeidler, Grant Sine Public School accommodated just eight classrooms, a gymnasium and ancillary facilities for a new suburb in Cobourg.  The school was named after a prominent public school board member.  Grant Sine Public School garnered a silver Massey Medal in 1966.

Each classroom is characterized by brick walls, a panel of windows, and a pyramidal roof with natural light from a roof monitor.  The repetition of these classrooms in an informal, staggered manner gives the sense of a village cluster.  An entry forecourt, framed by two classrooms at the south, lends a modest civic presence.

The building is reminiscent of Bellmere School (John Andrews, 1965) in Scarborough, and Herman Hertzberger’s influential Montessori School at Delft (1960-1966).  As described by Antony Moulis, these projects both exhibit “an implied diagonality of movement, broken down, to the scale of the building’s occupants, by stepping forms across the plan.”

With the Bellmere classrooms, skylights have been replaced with opaque panels and there have been other alterations such as awnings added to the south elevation.  In spite of these changes, the overall form and character of the school remain intact.

In 2014, the school was repurposed by the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board and became the Northumberland Centre for Individual Studies, serving the educational needs of teens.