Home Alumni Wall of Fame Loyalist Grad Proves Wood WORKS!

Loyalist Grad Proves Wood WORKS!

December 23, 2014

Paul Kelly loves going to work each day. “Nothing is more satisfying than when I get to create step-by-step instructions to build an entire building,” he says. A 2009 graduate of the Architectural Technology program at Loyalist College, Paul now works as an Architectural Technologist with Larocque Elder Architects in North Bay.

“Architecture is a huge part of my life,” says Paul. “Whether it be sketching on a piece of paper, preparing drawings with AutoCAD or walking a construction site. My passion exploded during the three years I studied at Loyalist and it continues to grow every day.”

Recently, Paul got a chance to apply that passion towards an elementary school project in Mattawa, Ontario, with an emphasis on wood construction. The results earned his firm an Ontario Wood WORKS! award. The awards program recognizes individuals and organizations that advance the use of wood in all types of construction through design excellence, advocacy and innovation.

Paul was one of two technologists who worked on the St. Victor Elementary School project, which was recognized in the category of small institutional buildings under $10 million. Their architectural working drawings brought the 24,778-square-foot building to life. Paul explains that the school is framed with conventional and engineered wood materials, including columns from parallel strand lumber, beams and lintels of laminated veneer lumber, glulam wood trusses, conventional wood framing and engineered wood joists.

He takes pride in the firm’s achievement. “I feel privileged to be a part of the St. Victor Elementary School project, but most of all I’m proud to be part of the team at Larocque Elder,” says Paul. “The award represents the strength of our team and proves that hard work does pay off.”

Paul credits his three-year program at Loyalist with helping him develop the practical skills and knowledge that were critical for the workplace. “Loyalist assisted me in developing my AutoCAD and Revit skills, which allowed me to perform at a higher level,” he notes. “We learned about the entire architectural field, from hand drafting to building science and interior design.”

The program at Loyalist has an outstanding track record of putting grads to work. A 2013 survey of college graduates by Forum Research Inc. for the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, conducted six months after graduation, shows 100 percent employment for Loyalist’s Architectural Technology graduates. Students in the program also have the option to complete a two-year Architectural Technician diploma, or to graduate after one year with a certificate in Residential Drafting and Design.

For Paul, the investment in a college education pays off every day in a career he enjoys. “I love that I get to create art on a daily basis. The site is our canvas and the sky is our backdrop. For me, there is no better feeling than seeing a custom home come to life from lines on a piece of paper.”

For more information about the Architectural Technology program at Loyalist College, email Coordinator Suzanne Churchill at or visit