Built in 1908, the original Fernie High School stood empty for the last eight years, discarded in favor of a newer, more modern facility. Today the classic brick building adjacent to the Historic District echoes with the sounds of hammers, saws, the shouts of workmen and the roar of machinery as it undergoes a careful renovation into 44 loft-style, green conscious residences and a luxurious spa.
In every community, schools anchor and center the community. Our children learn. Our children play. Families gather for community celebrations. As communities grow, they often outgrow schools. With the adaptation into modern carefree centrally located residences, the High School will once again become a social and cultural center for the town of Fernie.
Realizing the importance of a keystone renovation in the heart of Fernie, the developer chose The Le Blonde Partnership, a leading Canadian architecture firm, to vision and develop a plan fitting both the building and community. Coming to the project with the award winning Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, a UNESCO World Heritage Site at Ft. Macleod, Alberta and extensive work with the world-renowned Banff Springs Hotel, LeBlonde brings an uncommon depth of experience and care for the project. Utilizing the original structure to the highest potential while adding within the existing character, LeBlonde created a renovation adhering to the spirit of the building at the same time creating state-of-the-art lofts.
In keeping with the care taken on the overall project, each individual residence will offer owners interiors detailed in tile, stone, and recycled timbers from the original school, The effect will be one of substance, but soft in color and tones. Custom eight to eleven foot windows will draw the dramatic mountain views right into the living space. In the kitchen, only the latest in energy efficient appliances and fixtures—six-burner pro-series cook tops with a pot filler, a wall mounted oven, a warming drawer for finished dishes, wine cooler, dish washer, trash compactor and side-by-side fridge. All the cabinet tops are natural granite.
While taking care in reaching a high level of luxury, the effect is not one of excess. All remains reasonable, flowing together to create a comfortable, kick off your shoes home with views that will not stop. While spacious, these residences invite an essential nesting reflex.
In renovating 901Fernie, the original Fernie High School will become a new center for families–for children and adults to play. While the original high school carried the whole community, 901 Fernie will be home to only 44 select families. As the first detailed renovation of a historic Fernie building into modern residences, 901Fernie sets the standard for future developments in the Historic core.