History of Silver Creek High School
Silver Creek Township’s school system grew from very austere beginnings. In 1835 the first school house in the Sellersburg area was built on land donated by Mr. Jeremiah Jackson and was situated on the corner of Utica and Salem Road, about a half mile west of town. The school was then moved to Sellersburg proper to make the village the center of the district. In 1882 Sellersburg built its first two-room school house on New Albany Street. By the early twentieth century, six schools were in operation with support from the Township. In 1925 the Speed Grade School was constructed to replace some of the older country schools that had shut down. Through 1925, Silver Creek Township supported six grade schools in the area.
On May 29, 1925, a Commencement was held at the Empire Theater to commemorate the 48 eighth grade graduates of Silver Creek Township Schools; the largest class ever graduated by a township school system in Clark County. This group formed the first class of the new Silver Creek Township High School which opened in the fall of 1925. Four of these students would go on to be the first graduates of the first Silver Creek Township High School. Four rooms in the Speed Community House were prepared as the temporary home of the new school.
The first Silver Creek High School building was completed in 1926 on a hill located between Sellersburg and Speed. A gym for sports activities and other events was added in 1940.
In February of 1960, the Indiana State Department of Public Instruction approved the first designs for the current school building. The plans were approved to provide the township with a hub which would be stimulated by the construction of Interstate Highway 65. The Federal Highway Administration had designated Silver Creek to receive a major interchange along the highway less than a mile from the new building. In 1960 the total 9-12 grade population was 396, with a 7-8 grade student body of 209. The current building was constructed to accommodate 600 students. On January 22, 1962, the new building opened for its first classes under unfavorable weather conditions. Over 300 students in grades 9 through 12, began their first day in the ultra-modern new facility which took well over a year to complete. Students actually began the move days before as they were given a special day to clean out their lockers in anticipation of the move to the new building. This building serves the students of Silver Creek Township to this day. An addition to the school, completed in 1982, raised the total building capacity to 1,000 students, showing rarely seen foresight on the part of both building planners and system officials. This addition added a band room, art room, choir room, gym, auditorium and library.
When the final contracts were approved in the original bid process, the total cost of the school was tallied up: $1,600,000 - a drop in the bucket by today’s fiscal standards. A holding company made up of residents and community leaders financed the construction through a bond issue with the school repaying the overall debt on an annual rent-fee basis. The current school building, when originally constructed, had 28 classrooms and a multipurpose room with a capacity of 3,500. By 1992, the school had served out its lease obligation of 30 years as stipulated in the lease agreement. When the lease was fulfilled, the Township took ownership of the building from the holding company and liquidated the holding company, paying each shareholder the total value of their shares at the original purchase price of $5 per share. In essence, the shares of stock were interest and dividend free bonds with a 30-year maturity. Once the holding company was liquidated, Silver Creek Township had achieved a rare feat for a public school system: Debt-free ownership of a public high school.