Indian Creek High School

  • area / size 112,300 sqft
  • Completed 2022
  • SōL Harris/Day Architecture completed the Indian Creek High School with a thoughtful layout for collaboration and learning in Wintersville, Ohio.

    Driven by their socio-economic challenges, Indian Creek Local Schools has a progressive mindset towards high performance learning environments that promote individual advancement. This district covers 75 miles. Access to transportation, housing, technology, food and life necessities is a growing problem. The district has homeless students, and access to the internet can be limited or non-existent. These were real problems that had to be addressed.

    The overall focus was to create high performance learning environments that supported team collaboration; inclusion of all students, learning styles and families; flexibility for an ever-evolving educational vision; and a community centered approach.

    In the end, the design evolved into an asset for the whole community to use that created a true sense of place and Creek Pride…a HOME. Spaces supported student choice and ownership of their individual educational journey, all while still promoting connections and collaboration.

    Building on the community connection, the high school pays tribute to its surrounding topography through peaked rooflines, mimicking the rolling hills and neighboring residential areas in Wintersville, Ohio. Building materials emulate the natural layering of shale, creating a textured facade of earth-tone colors. Creek Pride is visible through colored metal paneling.

    The design welcomes all visitors and fosters Creek pride. For easy access, public amenities branch off the central student dining area. A large, 700-seat auditorium and 900-seat gymnasium connect directly to student dining, while an elevated walking track can be accessed from the main level.

    Transitional spaces that would otherwise be underutilized square footage (traditional corridors) create additional learning spaces. Accessed easily from the classrooms, the Extended Learning Areas offer a space beyond the classroom, yet within sightline.

    With a collegiate feel, ELAs are geared toward student discovery through choice. Offering amenities not found in many district homes, technology, furniture, and teaching resources provide all the tools students need to explore and discover.

    The layout positions similar departments adjacent to foster cross-disciplinary learning. A teacher prep room joins the two departments, allowing intermingling of educators.

    Pathways are treated as zones of exploration. These spaces have a sense of compression with lower ceilings and darker colors to promote a sense of place. Zones of discovery can be found in the academic wings, where soaring ceilings, lighter tones and connections, invite students to discover a love for learning.

    Integrated technology is key to success. Each classroom is designed with a wall mounted interactive monitor that can be cast to by teacher or student devices. Voice assist and monitor sound is transmitted via overhead speakers. ELAs have mobile interactive monitors as another connection to technology.

    The school incorporates sustainability and well-being to enhance the user experience, increase student engagement through choice, and improve tools for educators. Because of this attention to sustainable design, the school achieved LEED Silver Certification.

    A natural palette is used to replicate the positive effects nature has on the mind and body. Hues of blue, yellow, orange, red, green, and neutrals combine to create a sense of ease, while stimulating concentration, creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking.

    Design: SōL Harris/Day Architecture
    Design Team: Domenic Ferrante, Burt Marzley, Melinda Scalfaro, Burt Marzley, Regina Erdman
    Photography: Todd Biss Productions