IC Innovation Space Opens After Three Months of Construction


Carly Philpott

Students use one of the classroom spaces in IC Innovation space during 8th period on Thursday.

The new IC Innovation Space opened a few days later than expected this week, drawing student use almost right away.

The new space, which is a renovated version of the old IC Lounge, hosts multiple classroom spaces, a large eating and studying area, and quiet, private rooms that students can use. Its opening comes after nearly two years of planning.

“The fact that we have a classroom space, a conference room space, small private rooms, and then a large common space, and then eventually the patio – it just feels like there’s just so many different spaces that kids and staff can use,” Principal Ryan Silva said. “It’s exciting.”

The design is more modern than the old space, with open windows, glass barriers, and natural light. The new IC innovation space is more suited for things like quiet study and class time than IC Lounge, which was originally designed to be a cafeteria.

“I like how it’s more modern,” senior Carli Swisher said. “I feel like the vibe and colors and everything are more for study.”

Silva was among the members of a committee who began planning the new space in January of 2021, he says. They worked side-by-side with an architecture firm to plan the space. Artists’ renderings of the design were first released this spring. Now, the innovation space is a reality.

Silva hopes that students will have the opportunity to use the new innovation space not only during their free periods, but during class time, too. Teachers can now reserve the classroom spaces for their classes, just like the community rooms and computer labs.

“If you’re a science teacher, and you just want to try something in a different space, you could do that. Same with art,” Silva said. “It would be up to the teachers to decide what they might want to do with that classroom. I feel like it gives some flexibility.”

Some students pointed out the wide range of how the new space can be used, too.

“I feel like last year it was more like a place where people ate lunch, and now it’s better suited for the entire day,” Swisher said.

The private rooms are similar to the study rooms in the library. But some students prefer the new rooms for their more casual feel.

“I like the secluded rooms. I feel like that’s nice for people when they don’t want to go to the library,” sophomore Vidhi Jhaveri said. “It’s not as much a quiet setting. So it’s nice for people to hang out here. It’s not as quiet as a library, but it’s also like a study zone.”

While the main indoor space is open, the patio is expected to be finished soon. Silva said final concrete pouring should happen this Friday.

The project was spurred by a 2020 bond election, which allocated $1.5 million dollars to Cherry Creek high schools to renovate part of school property. Creek used all $1.5 million. It wouldn’t have been possible without the voters, Silva says.

“I think the voter piece is important,” he said. “Obviously, [we] thank our voters for the support, because that space wouldn’t come to fruition without voters saying yes.”