Indian Community School is located on a 200-acre wooded site approximately 10 miles from downtown Milwaukee, in Franklin Wisconsin. Our school is home to 364 Pre-K through 8th grade students whose environment includes 114 indoor classrooms (no two are exactly alike) plus our new Boardwalk outdoor classrooms, a remodeled science wing, gymnasium, large dining hall, library, Drum room, indoor green space/Gathering of Nations, community meeting rooms including our new “Our Ways” room, administrative offices, as well as outdoor gathering places, wooded and earthen paths, a traditional teaching lodge and sports fields.
The school was designed by Antoine Predock, who made a series of visits to meet with former ICS students, board members, community members and tribal representatives. During these meetings, an understanding of the physical and spiritual place the school would occupy unfolded. A matrix of ideas, feedback and cultural influences were documented to inform and guide the architectural design process.
In constructing Indian Community School, the building was carefully nestled among a grove of ancient oak and shagbark hawthorn trees and surrounding prairie grass berms. Architectural elements of the structure reflect the natural world including a copper roof, large glass-enclosed gathering spaces and age-old timbers from the legendary Menominee forest. Natural wood, copper, stone and glass were used throughout the building to open and connect learning spaces to the natural environment.