The City of Farmington Hills purchased Harrison High School in fall of 2018 with the intent of transforming the school into the new Farmington Hills Community Center. Over the course of two days, IDS led a series of engagement exercises with over 400 residents to determine the main goals for the project, maintain and upgrade desirable, existing sport and gym amenities, create new features missing from the community such as a recreation pool, and preserve the legacy of the now-retired high school.
The project required upgrades to existing building systems such as air conditioning, lighting, and technology to bring the facility up to the standards needed for daily public use. Outdoor sports facilities such as the stadium, track, softball field, practice field, and tennis / pickleball courts were also either preserved or upgraded, and asphalt lots replaced and expanded to increase parking capacity.
Additionally, the project repurposed former high school features to create the new facilities, such as converting the high school band room into a new community black box theater and creating a fitness center near the gymnasium, complete with group fitness rooms and a large dance studio.
To maintain the history of Harrison High School while ensuring the renovation created the community center’s new identity, the project design preserved logos on the turf fields and kept Herrington Plaza near the stadium. Additionally, a Harrison High School display was created in the gym / fitness center lobby to honor the building’s legacy.