Erie High Charter School

Erie’s residents chose to embrace the future by passing a $21.9 million school bond issue many felt like ensured the town’s survival after the devastating floods of the previous summer. Instead of succumbing to disaster, the town’s residents turned a bad situation into an opportunity by creating a ‘green’ housing development around the school with innovative planning.

Project-based learning has been the driving force behind this new 21st-century high school that engages students in a rigorous and relevant learning experience. It is an inviting place where students are anxious to work and reluctant to leave. To understand the design, you first need to understand Project Based Learning (PBL). PBL creates an environment in which individual and group projects engage students in real-world issues, and provide the ultimate authentic assessment of interdisciplinary learning. These learning environments utilize self-directed, project-based learning to build student autonomy through relevant learning opportunities.

The campus consists of the Main High School Building, the Vocational Building and the athletic complex. The 87,750 SF main building is LEED Gold certified. The envelope and building systems were designed to reduce overall energy in the building to 50% below a conventional building. This portion of the project is load bearing masonry with bar joist roof structure. The veneer is split face block, brick and EIFS. The HVAC system is a geothermal heat pump consisting of well fields that provide a heat source/heat sink for water-air heat pumps located throughout the building.

The 20,052 SF Vocational Building is a pre-engineered metal building structure with a masonry and metal wall panel veneer. This building houses the science, art, woods, auto and vocational agricultural programs. It is connected to and uses the same geothermal heat pump system as the main building.

Project Features

  • Project-Based Learning Environment
  • LEED Gold Certified
  • Geothermal Heat Pump System

Total square footage: 107,802

Capacity: 240 Students


Teacher Quotes:

“After only two months into implementation, Seniors for the most part have been excited to come to class and to take responsibility for their learning. I am a big advocate of project based learning because of what I’ve seen in the students in my ag classes. It’s exciting to see this implemented across other areas of study.”
~Tara Lindahl
Erie High School Teacher

“Project based learning is a shot of real world learning, and students have been very positive about it. A student can see how everything fits. For us, it’s worked well.”
~John Underwood
Erie High School Teacher