About Oscar Lathlin Collegiate

O.L.C. was named after Oscar Lathlin. Oscar Lathlin was born and raised at the Opaskwayak Cree Nation, in northern Manitoba. He attended high school at Frontier Collegiate in Cranberry Portage, graduating in 1969.

He subsequently returned to his community, and worked as a band manager of Opaskwayak Cree Nation, formally Know at the time as,"The Pas Band." He was named executive director of the Swampy Cree Tribal Council in 1979, and was elected chief of Opaskwayak Cree Nation in 1985. He also worked as an advisor to the Native Teacher Education Program, served on various committees of the Assembly of First Nations and was a senior advisor for the federal government of Canada on a variety of subjects.

Sadly, November 1, 2008 Oscar Lathlin Passed away peacefully at his cabin near The Pas, Manitoba.

Oscar Lathlin Collegiate

oscar lathlin


The OCN School was designed functionally to address the diverse age groups between the G7 and G12 ages. We see three distinct “houses” of classrooms are self-contained and maintained and maintain a separation during regular educating hours of the day. These houses or “pods” are accessed from a central main street where the entire school populations do mix briefly at daily intervals. The central main street acts like a spine to the floor plan where all classrooms and public spaces branch off of. So we see the shared spaces such as home economics, industrial arts, physical education and administration cleanly separated from the classroom pods on the opposite side of the spine. The school has also been designed to include future considerations for vocational module plug in through a corridor continuation through the CAD lab. Functionally additional classrooms or vocational labs can also be designed as modules continuing along the curved spine.


The design motivation to support the functional plan came from a concept of a bear claw with the pad of the paw being the central activity of shared spaces off the spine. The classroom pods become the individual toes of the claw. As further vocational labs get connected to the plan the remaining portions of the bear claw emerge. Individual design elements include the portion to blur the lines between outside and inside. This creates a tighter connection to nature’s elements. We have included expansive windows around student passive zones where interior spaces blend into outdoor amphitheatres. The height of the main spine reinforces the humility of the individual God’s Great work. Wooden elements continue to finish interior surfaces adding the warmth of natural products and a connection to nature. The use of the low slope roof harmonized with gentle plains of the prairies and the concept was to have the topography of the school blend seamlessly into the surrounding landscape.


Circular elements continue to reinforce the cyclical nature of our continued journey. We completed circular lobby elements with additional student lounge areas. The spine itself is a portion of a circle that is incomplete which symbolically represents a single stage in life along the continued journey. We allow the arc to gradually disintegrate into the landscape through the use of trellis structure at each of the arc symbolizing that transition into these years of the journey does not abruptly start nor does it end and allow for each person to recognize the beginnings of the opportunity to enter the new stage of life’s path and also a reminder that each person bears the responsibility to continue personal growth as the circle continues beyond the reaches of the high school.

LEED Shadowing Points of Interest

Architectural – MMP Architects

1. Materials used for the flooring, millwork and cabinetry, adhesives and caulking and finishes such as paint, have low or no –VOC (volatile organic compound) rating, meaning very little off-gassing. Many materials have a large recycled content and or are derived from renewable resources. Much of the wood is harvested from trees managed by the Forest Stewardship Council.

2. The building is extremely well insulated with R-25 walls and an R-40 roofing system.

3. The south face of the building has a great deal of glazing (window) to capture the heat from the sun in winter and ceiling-mounted fans circulate the air downward.

4. The white coloured portion of the roofing reflects the sun reducing part of the cooling requirements within the building in summer.

5. Over 75% of the spaces have day-lighting, allowing exterior light into the space.

6. LEED Accredited Professionals worked on the design from every Consulting Discipline.

7. The maintenance staff for the building use HIPPO Facility Management computer software to help maintain the many building systems, regulate services and organize work when required.

Landscaping – Hilderman Thomas Frank Cam

8. The large hill to the north-east is entirely built from the peat that was stripped from the site prior to building.

9. The site id designed and graded in a way that allows water run-off to be directed via swales and ditches and provide moisture to surrounding treed areas and to drain from higher areas minimizing soil erosion.

10. Virtually all of the concrete, gravel, rocks and earth materials have come from local resources in or around OCN.

Mechanical – SMS Engineering

11. The geothermal system for the school runs piping horizontally 8 feet beneath the entire soccer field, and provides the heating and cooling to the entire building, saving roughly 50% in energy costs each year when compared to conventional furnaces and air conditioning systems.

12. Each classroom has carbon dioxide sensors that regulates the amount of fresh air into the room.

13. Ventilation Fans are variable speed to supply air into the room at a regulated speed to only allow what’s required within the space.

14. The heat from the warm air running through the exhaust fans, is recaptured and re-used to heat fresh air.

15. The shower heads, faucets, and toilets are all energy-star water saving fixtures, and have additional features such as motion-activated faucets and dual-flush toilets to further conserve water.

Electrical – MCW/AGE Engineers

16. Nearly all of the room lighting is motion-censored to turn on when someone enters the room, and save energy when no one is within the space.

17. The metal halide lamps in the exterior and main corridor lighting are very efficient and provide good distance and coverage.