About Indian Springs School
Indian Springs School was the brainchild of Harvey G. Woodward, a Birmingham industrialist who had attended M.I.T. and who wanted to establish a school in his home state that would train young men for a lifetime of learning. Mr. Woodward left a sizeable estate and a detailed description of his program when he died in 1930. The will survived legal challenges and the program was refined, and finally the school opened its doors in 1952 with 10 faculty members and 60 boys. The school served as a boarding school for boys from Birmingham and rural parts of Alabama, and from the start the graduates went off to distinguished colleges around the nation.
The founding head of the school, Dr. Louis Armstrong, made certain that an Indian Springs education was far more than sound preparation for college. A program was put into place that was designed to awaken the intellectual curiosity of the students by making them aware of problems facing American society. Students were encouraged to keep open minds and become determined to change things in society for the better.
Student directed learning in the classroom and in activities has always been encouraged at Indian Springs School. The school's choir has a tradition of presenting concerts all over the globe. The first soccer program in the state was initiated at Indian Springs. By the 1970's the school had an equal number of day students and boarders. An eighth grade was added and the school became coeducational. In 2006, the school reaffirmed its commitment to boarding by opening brand new dorms for all residential students. In addition, a state-of-the-art Science Center was also unveiled, again demonstrating the school's passion for academic excellence.The most recent additions to campus are the Fertile Minds Learning Garden, which produces organics fruits and vegetables for the ISS Dining Hall, and an Outdoor Classroom. Both help students connect to the environment in a very personal way. The school boasts of its more than 2,000 alumni, all of whom have experienced Harvey G. Woodward's vision of Learning Through Living.
Indian Springs School's campus is on 350 acres (1.4 km2) in northern Shelby County, 15 miles (24 km) south of downtown Birmingham. Through the 1970s, the school was remote and surrounded by woodlands, with Oak Mountain State Park abutting its southern boundary. In the late 1970s, facing increasing debts and possible bankruptcy because of decreased enrollment, the school sold hundreds of acres surrounding the campus.
Instruction takes place in seven academic buildings, which house 23 classrooms, a new science center, a concert hall, a theater, two student lounges, a college center, a technology lab, a 19,000-volume library, and special studios for chorus, art, photography, and drama. The athletic facilities include two gymnasiums, with two basketball courts, two volleyball courts, and two weight rooms. The campus has six new tennis courts, a competition soccer field, a baseball field, a softball field, a cross country track, and a practice field/track. A new organic orchard, Fertile Minds, complements the greenhouse in producing food for the students. In 2006, new dorms for both boys and girls were opened.