Center Grove Innovation Center

Center Grove’s new Innovation Center is a hub for 21st Century learning focused on preparing students of all ages for careers in STEM fields. The Center provides a student-centered learning environment with space for a variety of student experiences including: project-based learning, community partnerships, high-level problem solving, innovative collaborative learning, and cutting edge technology.

The first phase of the project includes a robotics lab to serve as the home to the award-winning Red Alert Robotics team. Prior to the renovation, the robotics team had to test their machines in the high school hallways or empty classrooms. The new design provides ample space for fabrication/tools, assembly/testing, and a full-sized practice pit.

The second phase of the design includes a central organizing “Collaboration Zone” between three large classroom labs dedicated to Basic, Advanced, and Industrial STEM activities and three large-group areas for CAD/computer activities, design exercises, media-based collaboration, and discussions. The flexible spaces accommodate all ages, from elementary students learning with Lego ™ components, to high school students using advanced 3D printing and manufacturing processes.

The STEM labs are open to each other and can be divided to accommodate individualized activities with adjacent break-out spaces for smaller groups. Specific colors designate each STEM lab and extend out into the Collaboration Zone to easily orient young learners. Teachers are able to use electronic tablets to display information on TV screens located around the experiment room or stream videos of an experiment or activities so that all students are able to see it.

HSE College and Career Academies

Hamilton Southeastern Schools conducted a community study and determined that rather than building a third high school to meet the needs of their growing community, they would build advanced learning center academies at each campus to accommodate an additional 1,000 students.

CSO was selected to work with stakeholders to explore the requirements of a learning center that would meet their academic needs while taking into consideration what teaching and learning looks like at institutions of higher education and centers of innovative learning. CSO worked with educational experts to gather stakeholder input around the tenets of 21st Century School Design and developed design concepts that met the required scope and quality for the project.  Design documents and detailed renderings were developed for both high schools and were critical in the passing of the May 2013 referendum. After the referendum was passed, CSO used the detailed design documents to develop the design criteria package that allowed the school corporation to issue an RFP for design-build teams. CSO stayed on the project through construction as owner’s representative.

In addition to expanding each high school’s capacity by 1,000 students, the academies also reflect the most innovative design for teaching and learning with accessible space for early college classes that provide actual college credits for high school students. Additions are 2-stories and reflect the qualities of 21st Century Design with copious daylight, transparency in learning spaces, ubiquitous technology, and flexible learning spaces that are sized for small and large group gatherings. Teachers do not “own” their classroom space but have an office space available, similar to the arrangements in higher education. A Student Learning Commons, adjacent to the student café, has technology tables and opportunities for small group collaboration. A large, open science lab serves all disciplines and art labs open to one another, creating a free flowing creative environment.