Highland High School

Medina, Ohio

  • FIRM

    Fanning Howey


    Highland Local Schools

  • AREA

    222,381 sq.ft.





Situated in a picturesque woodland area, the new Highland High School is the cultural center for the community. It supports the district’s vision—where high academic achievement, personal enrichment and dedication to community involvement take center stage.

The challenge in designing this learning center was the environmentally sensitive, steeply sloped wooded site. ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY1,000COST PER SQ FT$133.00FEATURED IN2005 Architectural Portfolio solution needed to respect the environment while creating an effective plan that would meet the district’s educational and community goals. The solution was to tuck the building into the hillside, using the natural slope to create a cost-effective, dual-level building set comfortably into the woods.

Daylighting provides stunning views of the woodlands throughout the school, including classrooms, stairwells, a media center and dining commons. Skylights at the two “monumental stairs” introduce light into the heart of the building and connect the four academic neighborhoods, as well as the theater lobby. A patio overlooking the woodlands provides extended learning opportunities for art.

The connection between the building and the surrounding woods and wetlands creates an environment that offers a powerful learning tool for the entire community.