Project Description


Restoration of Flood-Damaged, 88-Year-Old School

The June 2013 Calgary flood caused significant structural damage to the existing Elbow Park School due to differential settlement.

The site was covered with water and the basement, crawl space and mechanical room were flooded. Dramatic settling of the perimeter foundation walls caused the classroom wings and library to pull away from the central core, opening up fissures through the walls and weakening the roof truss joints.


The original design plans called for a new and modern school to be constructed within the historic walls, including a new gymnasium addition to the south.

The work associated with saving the historic east and west walls could not be done within the approved budget. As a result, only the north, most historically significant wall, was retained. The east and west walls were replicated using a brick facade.

Project Scope

The landmark school, originally built in 1926, is at the heart of the neighbourhood of Elbow Park.

QM was awarded the contract to demolish selective areas of Elbow Park School that were structurally damaged as a result of the floods.

Under the contract, QM’s demolition team performed the following services, among others:

    • QM worked alongside heritage engineers to salvage the following items for re-purpose: north facade wall, library truss system, and cupola.
    • In addition to the demolition work, QM undertook an excavation component that was required in order to place support towers to brace the north facade.
    • Manual hand demolition was required in order to separate the building from the north facade, all while keeping that wall, as well as the rest of the building, intact.
    • Once hand separation was made, mechanical demolition was used to demolish the remaining structure.
    • Foundations and footings were also removed to facilitate new construction.
    • Elbow Park School was also a silver LEEDS project, where 85% of all materials were recycled and kept out of landfill.

Project Info

Elbow Park School Demolition

Stuart Olson

Calgary, Alberta

Services Used:
Demolition, Selective Demolition