ZCHS School History
The first School House in Zionsville was erected near what is now 100 North Main Street in 1854 and abandoned in 1868. The high school was established in 1885 and graduated its first class in 1888. At that time it was located in the second-floor chapel of "The Academy", a small, brick, school house built in 1867 on Walnut Hill. Today, that site is the home of Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library.
In 1910, it was commissioned as Eagle Township High School. The Chapel building was torn down in 1922 and replaced in 1924. The gymnasium was finished in 1925.
The first Eagle Elementary School was built and dedicated in 1955, where it still exists today although there are two others, Boone Meadow and Pleasant View with a fourth, Trailside Elementary scheduled to open for the 2022/23 school year.
Eagle Elementary is located on the site of what once was Zion Park. Zion Park was the home of the Zion Park Assembly from 1892-1924, the locals called it a Camp Meeting, or Chautauqua. The event lasted over three weekends in August where people enjoyed listening to bands and musical performances, watching plays, listening to speakers, preachers, and comedians. The visitors came by train, wagon, buggy, and by horseback. There was a lake in Zion Park. Lake Como offered boat rides and it even had a cable car that folks could ride across it. There was a small island in the lake and it held a bandstand. Families would sit on blankets around the lake and enjoy listening to music, have picnics, and visit with family and friends. Today, there is a path behind Eagle Elementary that students can explore with their teachers in outdoor learning. Lake Como is no longer here, but a small pond does remain.
The Zionsville High School remained at the Walnut Hill location until 1968 when the first section of the current building was constructed on Whitestown Road, although some residents raised concern that the school did not include a gymnasium. In 1970, the name was changed to Zionsville Community High School, when a new school corporation, Eagle-Union Community School Corporation, was formed by the merger of Eagle and Union township schools. The old Eagle Township High School buildings were torn down in 1978, with the exception of the gymnasium. Called the "Nest", the school continued to use it as the home court of the basketball teams until 1998, when a gym on the new Whitestown Road campus opened.
In 2003, the new performing arts center opened, and the freshman center and aquatics center opened in 2005. At the end of the 2009 football season, the original football stadium was torn down and a new multi-purpose stadium opened in 2010.
In 2019, Zionsville Schools brought both an operating and a construction referendum to voters, seeking to replace a previous referendum, fund lower class sizes and raise $89 million for various construction projects that would include a new elementary school. Both passed with the support of more than three-quarters of voters.
A new elementary school Trailside, was constructed and opened for the 2022/23 school year. Construction on the high school began in March 2021 with the completed additions in July 2022 and completed renovations planned by August 2023.
This is a major new construction and classroom addition. In includes another east/west interior corridor on the north side, new dining commons, kitchen and serving facilities and a new main entrance adjacent to the larger parking area on the south.
Please see the following video for a virtual walk-through of the renovated Zionsville Community High School.
Early Pictorial Review of Zionsville Schools
Zionsville’s first schoolhouse was built in 1854, two years after the town was platted.
Originally Chapel Academy was a Zionsville School for all grades built in 1875 just West of Walnut and Fifth Streets.
Eagle Township High School Building 1910 (north section) South addition built in 1924 replaced Chapel Academy.