LOWELL | A pleased Tri-Creek School Board and administration has gotten a look at what the Tri-Creek Learning Center design might resemble.
Jeff Olson, project manager for CSO Architects, Indianapolis, presented the preliminary design for the building that will house Ivy Tech classrooms, class space for other post-secondary institutions, professional development space for Tri-Creek faculty and more.
Olson said the version offered up Thursday resulted from good meetings with Ivy Tech Community College and Tri-Creek School Corp. administrators.
"This is unique to them," he said of Ivy Tech, which is partnering with Tri-Creek for the project.
Public input will be gathered during a series of meetings before March 14, when a nearly complete design will be necessary, according to state requirements.
"We're so excited," Superintendent Debra Howe said of the project.
Howe and the board made suggestions for some design adjustments and said the design will continue to be tweaked.
From the outset, the Tri-Creek administration and board have said they want all the building's space to be used for education. They want it to look different from traditional school facilities, they said.
One innovation is classroom space for Lowell High School students taking dual credit courses. After passing the Ivy Tech admissions test, students will complete college coursework during their school day.
"That is free tuition," Assistant Superintendent Nathan Kleefisch said.
A day care space to be included at the center for staff and the community also will serve as a learning space for Lowell High School students interested in careers in early childhood development.
The gymnasium will host large group instruction and meet community recreational needs.
Board President Doug Ward said it is possible the project might split into two phases for the gym section.
Kleefisch said components of the Steelworker of America program will be taught at the center to meet the increasing needs of ArcelorMittal and others.
The Tri-Creek Learning Center will be on the site where the former Lowell Middle School sat, across from the Tri-Creek Administration Center. It is expected to be completed in time for the 2013-14 school year.