MVHS Named #20 Most Beautiful High School Campus in the World


Social media has been atwitter about Metea Valley High School being on the 30 Most Beautiful High School Campus in the World. While the campus been nominated for other architectural awards, like AIA Chicago’s 55th Annual Designight in 2010, Metea has not won an award until now, the article having been written in late July. Best Education Degrees’ website cited campuses from Spain, England, France, Scotland, Denmark, Portugal, China, Australia, Austria, and all over the U.S. as winners in the article, Metea Valley included.

Many Mustangs attached the hashtags “Proud” and “GoGoMustangs” to the link when they shared it on social media. Sophomore Susy Payan said, “I think that it’s cool how they show all the amazing campuses in the world,” she also added that “a lot of time and money was put into Metea, and I think that we should be recognized for that”. Some Mustangs, however, considered the article a joke or did not find merit in the news. Senior Lauren Herron said “I feel like it’s nice to win, but it’s not a reputable source… I’ve never heard of [the website].” Senior Abigail Ridgeway said that the website “doesn’t look too legit” but she “trusts it.”

Metea Valley’s exterior, likened to a jail by some students, is a subject of disagreement among students and staff. “I think on the inside is with having a courtyard, [but] our school looks like a jail on the outside,” said junior Bri Heerhold. “I always liked the design. Other people really hated it, but I’ve always found it really clean-looking, and I like all the natural light and windows,” said recent graduate Jonathan Tatar.

The article boasts that the school was “fashioned to promote collaboration between pupils and staff” and designed to “prevent students from feeling lost.” The architects of the building, DLR Group, sought to “provide identity so students would not become lost among the masses” and later “facilitated group discussions and allowed user groups to vote on what would work best for the district” to collaborate on an ideal design for students, staff, and parents. The goals of the building include cost efficiency and long-term savings, providing a secure campus, and encouraging collaboration between staff and students. “The architects really helped with the students and faculty having easy access to all parts of the building,” said sophomore Abby Donaldson, “I don’t know how [Metea’s] doing with the economics side of saving D204 money.”

Most students believe that the architects’ goals were met. Senior Rose Thompson argues that “at the risk of sounding overly patriotic, I’m gonna go with yes, the architects’ goals were met,” Thompson also says “the only thing I think the architects could have done better was to add better greenery and landscaping to the outside of the building.” Junior Colin Whittaker also agrees, “I think we have a good day to day system,” but adds “I think some rules made by the school can limit the freedom (I.D. Checks, 10 minute freeze, etc.) but are also important for keeping things safe,” validating the architects’ execution of their goals.

By Jenna Keeney

Photo by James Steinkamp