Lee High School stakeholders sign steel beam to be used in construction of new building

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On the last day of school, Lee High School students, staff and community members had the opportunity to sign one of the final steel beams to be erected in the construction of their new school.

The school, recently renamed Wisdom High School by the HISD Board of Education, is being rebuilt as part of HISD’s voter-approved, 2012 Bond Program. It is slated to receive a new $73.8 million facility to accommodate 1,700 to 1,900 students.

“The beam signing is an awesome experience for the kids. They’ll remember it forever,” said HISD Trustee Harvin Moore, who represents the school. “This is going to be an amazing campus when it’s finished, and I’m extremely pleased with the progress.”

The new two-story 240,000-square-foot facility will include state-of-the-art technology with flexibility to allow for future upgrades, and will feature four neighborhood wings with open spaces and plenty of windows to maximize natural light. It will also feature a light-filled atrium, an internal courtyard, a large dinning commons and a natatorium. The main entrance to the school will remain on the north side, so the campus will keep its historical Beverly Hill address.

Like many end-of-year activities, the beam-signing event was a bittersweet moment for the school’s seniors who are the last graduates under the school’s current name and will not attend classes in the new building.

“Lee High School is unfortunately coming to an end, and fortunately we’re getting a new school named Wisdom High School,” said graduating senior Karim Sabar, who is the Class of 2016 Salutatorian. “We’re literally the last class of Lee High School. I love Lee so much, and everything about it just makes me happy.”

The HISD Board of Education voted this year to change the names of eight schools so they would better reflect the values and diversity of the school district. Wisdom was chosen as Lee’s replacement to honor the legacy of Margaret L. Wisdom, a life-long HISD educator and former Lee teacher.

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The steel beam will remain on the south side of the construction site for a few more days to give alumni and other stakeholders the opportunity to add their signatures. On June 10, the contractor plans to “top out” the building by putting the final piece of steel into place.

Over the coming summer months, the campus will continue taking shape as exterior doors and windows are installed. Although weather caused some delays in recent months, the target completion date in second quarter 2017 remains the same.

Students will continue to attend classes in the existing building throughout construction, and the new building will open for the start of the 2017-2018 school year. Once the new building is complete, the current building will be demolished allowing new athletic fields and additional parking to be built on that site.

More information on the Lee High School project