Sol Harris Day Architecture

Tucked away in Wintersville, Ohio, the Indian Creek Local School District is a proud district with a remarkably student-centered focus and progressive mindset to creating state-of-the-art, high-performance learning environments for their students. Cross Creek Elementary School’s design took queues from the area’s topography. Serving students in grades Pre-K through fourth. Part of a campus-wide masterplan, Indian Creek also has a new high school under construction and a second elementary that is undergoing a phased renovation. All three schools are scheduled to be fully open to students in the fall semester of 2021.

LEED Certification


  • Master Planning
  • Site Selection
  • Visualizations and Graphics
  • Facility Assessments
  • Visioning
  • Sustainable Design
  • Architecture
  • Interior Design
  • FF&E
  • Estimating/Scheduling

Street Presence

Cross Creek’s exterior concept was inspired by the shale formations endemic to the area. Wintersville rests on the Marcellus Shale geological formation and as a result the layers of rock protrude through the earth in beautiful formations. Indian Creek’s new building at Cross Creek mimics this layering effect with its low, horizontal forms and earth-toned brick. Splashes of color wrap the building exterior as well, reminiscent of the vibrant Ohio landscape. Bright and vibrant colors blend with the interior color scheme to create an inviting and joyful presence for the students who will attend school here.

The exterior organization is centered around safety, with a main drive entering from the northeast of the site and forking off into two paths – one for bus traffic and one for vehicular traffic. The bus lane loops around the school and offers safe and convenient access for students, removed from all vehicular traffic. The bus loop also doubles as the hard surface playground. During the day when school is in session, gates will enclose the bus loop so that students can play outside in a fully-enclosed area, using the asphalt surface for four square, hopscotch, and basketball. The vehicular drive allows cars to pull up to the main entry portion of the building for drop-off or pick-up. Cars and buses then exit the site on the opposite side of the building to the southwest. The entry and exit points were specifically chosen to provide the best visibility for vehicles as the site is located on a winding road on a hill. Choosing safe entry and exit points were of the utmost importance.

The overall theme is playing homage to our area and brings the outside in. The dark colors represent the coal and shale in our area. The sweeping roof lines represent the hills. There are areas in the building where there are open girders for our steel history.

John Belt, Assistant Superintendent, Indian Creek Local Schools

Building Organization

The hub of the school building is a two-story cafeteria with expansive glass and access to the outdoors. Doubling as a performance space, the cafeteria’s stage doubles as the music room, with a moveable wall to provide separation when needed from the larger space. Above the stage sits a flexible media center, with a full wall of glass offering a unique bird’s eye view of the cafeteria hub below and daylight beyond. Classrooms are arranged around a large extended learning area, connected by glass garage doors. Some classrooms have moveable walls between to facilitate team teaching but separate as educational activities require.Some of thegrade levels only have three classes, so the operable partitions will ensure that no space goes unused.

Interior Concept

The younger years of students’ experiences in and outside of school are vital to their mental health and cognitive development. Children experience life’s circumstances much differently than adults and need safe spaces, calming colors, and optimistic adventures to help give them a feeling of control. Cross Creek Elementary captures these key design elements by including colors that suppress stress, biophilic forms and textures to connect to nature, and grade level identity “badges” they earn as they progress through the grade levels.

Wayfinding and special discovery can play a major role in children’s responses to their environment and serve as a learning tool. The concept for Cross Creek Elementary depicts the experience a child would have moving through the different stages of the water cycle as if they were a single drop of water, starting in a creek as Creek Campers and ending as precipitation landing on a mountain as Mountain Rangers. Not only do they learn how water travels through the cycle, but they also see how water is interacting with people, animals, and the earth along the way. Vertical circulation and extended learning areas are used to portray how the water moves from one stage to the next, including a waterfall to represent runoff and wall graphics to represent evaporation.


  • New elementary school housing grades Pre-K through Fourth
  • Collaboration with Hammond Construction as CMR
  • Achieved LEED Silver certification

Meet the Team

  • Domenic Ferrante
  • Burt Marzley
  • Abigail Maurer
  • Jeff Hardy
  • Julie Ziga


  • IIDA OHKY Interior Design K-12 Education LEARN Award

Share This


Alliance City SchoolsAshland County-West Holmes Career CenterCanton City SchoolsCarrollton Exempted Village SchoolsCentral Catholic High SchoolChippewa Local SchoolsCrestwood Local SchoolsCuyahoga Valley Christian AcademyThe Golden Key for Exceptional ChildrenGreen Local Schools (Green, Ohio)Green Local Schools (Smithville, Ohio)Indian Creek Local SchoolsJackson Local SchoolsLake Local SchoolsMarlington Local SchoolsMassillon City SchoolsNordonia Hills City School DistrictNorth Canton City SchoolsNorthwest Local SchoolsOsnaburg Local SchoolsPerry Local SchoolsRG Drage Career Technical CenterRootstown Local SchoolsSandy Valley Local SchoolsSolon City SchoolsSt. Michael SchoolStark County Board of Developmental DisabilitiesStrasburg-Franklin Local SchoolsTallmadge City SchoolsTriway Local SchoolsWayne County Schools

Higher Education

Ashland UniversityBelmont CollegeBethany CollegeBluffton UniversityThe College of WoosterGrove City CollegeIndiana Wesleyan UniversityKent State UniversityKenyon CollegeMalone UniversityMount Vernon Nazarene UniversityNorth Central State CollegeStark State CollegeThe Ohio State UniversityUniversity of AkronUniversity of Mount UnionWalsh UniversityWashington State Community College


3D Business AcceleratorAdvanced Storage SystemsAirtex ProductsAkron-Canton AirportAkron Community FoundationAmerimar Enterprises, Inc.ASC IndustriesBair's PowersportsBAM Healthy CuisineBekaertBridgestone AmericasCampbell Oil CompanyCutler RealtorsDeHoff DevelopmentDeVille DevelopmentsDiebold NixdorfDix CommunicationsDowntown FordEnvironmental Design GroupFedex Custom CriticalFirst MeritGE CapitalGoddard SchoolsGreat Lakes ConstructionHampton InnIn The RoundKiko Auctioneers and RealtorsLean DogLeopard Town TwirlersLG FuelNational Inventors Hall of FameNickles BakeryPegasus FarmPetitti Garden CenterPenske TruckProgressive ChryslerProgressive InsurancePro Car Automotive GroupPro Football Hall of FameS.D. Myers IndustriesSecuritas Electronic SecuritySterling JewelersStruktol Company of AmericaTaylor BankThe Timken CompanyUnited Glass and Panel SystemsYoung Truck


Alliance Family YMCABoy Scouts of AmericaBrookside Country ClubBucyrus Area YMCACambridge YMCACampCarl.lifeCongress Lake Country ClubEric Snow YMCA (Downtown Canton)Ernie's Bicycle ShopFirestone Country ClubGeauga Park DistrictGirl Scouts of North East OhioGlenmoor Country ClubLakota YMCALouisville YMCAMassillon Boys & Girls ClubMinerva YMCAMount Vernon YMCAMurfreesboro Tennis ComplexMuskingum Watershed Conservancy DistrictNorth Canton YMCAParamount Tennis ClubPaul & Carol David YMCA (Jackson)Pegasus FarmShady Hallow Country ClubSilver Lake Country ClubStark ParksStark County Wilderness CenterTiffin Community YMCATuscarawus County YMCAWestbrook Country ClubYMCA of Central Stark County


Aultman FoundationAultman HospitalChapel Hill Retirement CommunityGastroenterology SpecialistsThe Lenzy Family InstituteMeniru Medical OfficesRose Lane Nursing & RehabilitationScriptShop PharmacyShady Lawn Nursing & RehabilitationSt. Lukes Lutheran HomeThe Pines Lakeside TherapyTraditions at Bath Road Nursing HomeTrillium Family SolutionsUnion HospitalWooster Community HospitalAkron Community FoundationArtsinStarkBolivar Volunteer Fire DepartmentBuckeye Council of AmericaCanton Township FireCarroll County District LibraryCarroll County TransitCity of WoosterJackson TownshipLiberty Development CompanyLouisville Public LibraryMassillon Fire DepartmentMassillon MuseumMassillon Public LibraryMinerva Champer of CommercePerry Township Police DepartmentPlain Township Fire DepartmentSeville-Guilford Township Fire and EMSSmithville Fire DepartmentStark County CommissionersStark County Department of Job & Family ServicesStark County District LibraryStark Community FoundationSummit County Department of Job & Family ServicesThe Chapel in AkronChrist Community Chapel in HudsonFirst Friends ChurchGrace United Methodist ChurchGreentown United Methodist ChurchHoly Trinity Greek Orthodox ChurchSt. Mary's Catholic ChurchSt. Michael the Archangel ParishSt. Michael Lutheran ChurchSt. Stephens Lutheran Martyr ChurchA.H. Wilson BuildingBenders TavernCanton Palace TheatreHoover HouseLake TownshipLimbauch BuildingsLions Lincoln TheatreMassillon Heritage FoundationNational First Ladies LibrarySpring Hill Historic HomeSt. Edward HotelWooly Pig Farm Brewery

Photo Gallery

1 of 22