Mt. Ararat High School, MSAD #75

Opened in 2020, the new Mt. Ararat High School is a ubiquitous learning environment within Maine School Administrative District 75, serving approximately 750 students in grades 9 – 12. Citizens, students, and families from the communities of Topsham, Harpswell, Bowdoin, and Bowdoinham were involved in an extensive community planning process to create a place where students would feel comfortable and could consider a second home. Built on the existing campus, Mt. Ararat High School continues its relationship with the middle school on a central site with abundant natural features.

The 150,000-square-foot building is organized around a hub of spaces critical to the established culture of Mt. Ararat High School. The spaces house programs such as the Digital Media Makerspace, Robotics Makerspace, Learning Commons, Student Affairs offices, Main Administration, and Dining Commons. The school boasts extensive energy-efficient features such as a closed-loop geothermal heating and cooling system, increased insulation, triple-glazed windows, roof structure reinforcement for future PV panels, solar hot water preheating, snow melt systems, and highly durable finish materials.

Three primary wings intersect at a centrally located and secure main entry lobby. The classroom wings radiating from the lobby contain a diverse variety of spaces, including 40 small and large classrooms, 9 science labs, makerspaces, a forum lecture hall, a learning commons, art rooms, and seminar rooms. A public main street traverses the school building from the main lobby, connecting the entry to a light-filled cafeteria, band and choral rooms, and the 17,000-square-foot gymnasium and fitness rooms. A competition track, multi-purpose fields, baseball field, and competition field concessions building are all part of the school’s overall athletic program. Numerous special education spaces, special education professionals, and social workers are distributed throughout the building to promote the inclusion of all students. Informal seatings areas and breakout spaces within the building promote casual encounters and informal meetings.

*Photography courtesy of Blind Dog Photography