Senior academies considered

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Hamilton Southeastern School District Supt. Brian Smith and CannonDesign representatives Christian Long and Trung Lee held an update on the proposed senior academies at Fishers High School and Hamilton Southeastern High School on Sept. 20.

Smith and the representatives from the project’s design firm reintroduced the concept of the academies. The goal of each academy is to acquaint students with an environment that mirrors college or the working world post graduation.

“We’re not doing them just to add on,” Smith said. “We’re going to have about initially 1500 more high school students coming this way and we’re going to need that space by 2015. This is more than just adding space on the school to have something different. We’ve got to have the space to accommodate for our student growth, but why not at the same time, since we have to do that, let’s be creative, and let’s offer something unique for our students and our community.”

Underclassmen at each school can take classes in the new buildings if they’re eligible for upper-level course work.

He said designs will be ready in December if not earlier, then further advertised in January 2013 and voted upon by referendum in May 2013.

“I can’t even tell you where this academy for HSE High School (would be) attached to the building,” Smith said. “We’re still focused on structuring the classrooms.”

The representatives from CannonDesign spoke about their involvement in the project. CannonDesign is located in 15 cities throughout the world, including Chicago, Mumbai, Vancouver and Washington, D.C.

Lee and Long broke down the design strategy of the new buildings, which includes community interviews, polling and considering their own designs for recently built institutions, such as North Shore County Day School in Illinois and other tactics.

CannonDesign is considering several aspects in design, including spatial barriers and class room set ups that encourage cross-subject collaboration.

Interviews with both schools’ students revealed different viewpoints on the project.

“One student a couple times said, ‘You know, this is going to be the first time we’ve come together as two high schools and not be competing’,” Long said.


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