The Campaign for Riverside High School - Riverside High School
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The Campaign for Riverside High School

Renovations to the permanent home of Riverside High School, a second campus of Herron High School, are finished. The Heslar Naval Armory, a historically important building on the near northwest area of Indianapolis, is fulfilling its new mission as Riverside High School.

We exceeded our campaign goal and successfully raised more than $3 million to fund the renovations to the Armory to make it Riverside High School’s permanent home.While we have exceeded our campaign goal, we still need your support to help us fund a few unmet needs, such as bleachers for the gymnasium. A gift to the Campaign for Riverside High School will preserve this historic structure while giving more students access to an Indianapolis Classical Schools’ education. Visit our donation below to make a secure online donation or contact Jennifer Sommers, Vice President and Chief Development Officer, for more information on other ways to make a gift.


Extending the Success of Herron High School

Riverside High School is a replication of the award-winning classical, liberal arts model of Herron High School. Like Herron High School, Riverside High School offers the same college-preparatory curriculum to an intentionally-diverse student population. Currently in its first year, Riverside serves 140 freshman students at a temporary location. It will grow to serve 600 students in grades 9-12 and achieve the same level of success as Herron High School.

Preserving a Historic Structure

Constructed in 1938 as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project, the Art Moderne structure was built as a training center for naval reservists. During World War II, the building served as an important communications and planning post for top generals. Tucked away on the unnavigable White River in landlocked Indianapolis, the structure was an ideal location for the generals to escape surveillance in order to review intelligence and plan military operations. It is believed that key Pacific and European campaigns, including elements of D-Day, were planned there. The building and its features are protected by a historical designation from the State of Indiana’s Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology. It is also a named entity in the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing property to the Indianapolis Parks and Boulevard System. Some of its many historically-important features include:

  • Four original 12’ x 15’ murals completed in 1939 depicting famous naval battles o Mess Hall with maritime-style globes as light fixtures
  • Drill floor and gymnasium with crow’s-nest
  • Training room that could be flooded to simulate emergency situations at sea.

The armory was decommissioned in October 2015. After sitting vacant for nearly two years, the facility was acquired by Indianapolis Classical Schools at no cost but will require renovations to preserve the structure and make it suitable for hosting high school students. The project will preserve the historic features of the building but involves updating mechanical systems, creating classroom spaces, and minor structural repairs and protective measures.