Like a glistening emerald, the new Hillcrest High is shaping up to be a beacon of inspiration for the diverse, high-achieving students who learn there.
It has all the amenities of a modern high school where, in the space of a day, students can immerse themselves in robotics, biology, statistics, world history, fashion design and basketball practice. But what really stands out as you walk the still-developing halls is the care and attention that has gone into creating spaces where students can challenge themselves and stretch past their comfort zones.
Outside the science labs are collaboration areas where students can explore cross-disciplinary ideas. The dance room is as spacious as the stage in the school’s new auditorium, and adjacent the Main Office is a collegiate-style “presentation room,” or lecture hall for hosting academic seminars.
“We envision this as a place for students to present and share their best work and ideas,” says Hillcrest Principal Greg Leavitt.
A committee of Hillcrest administrators and District administrators have been working with FFKR Architects and Westland Construction over the past two years to create a new home of the Huskies, equipped to meet the demands of a 21st century education without sacrificing elements of the old building that are rooted in tradition, such as the inlaid “H” in the old gymnasium floors that now adorn one of the hallways of the new athletics center.
The new school is being built to seismic-safety standards, and is more energy-efficient. It sports a field house and performing arts complex with a black-box theater and auditorium rivaled by few others. Among its design features are open spaces illuminated by natural light and gathering areas for students to create new traditions.
Demolition of the existing facility will take place this summer, and the building, which has been constructed in phases, will ready for full occupancy in August 2021.