Lamar HS construction passes halfway mark

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Construction at Lamar High School made steady progress over the summer, positioning the $129.2 million state-of-the art learning facility to surpass 50 percent completion this month.

Work on the exterior walls, roofing, window frames, and glass is in progress, along with installation of interior wall framing, drywall, door frames, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

Structural steel erection and concrete floor deck installation, the gymnasium, and natatorium are complete, and permanent power is expected to be connected by the end of the month.

Construction of the parking garage and selective demolition for the interior renovation of the original building’s east wing began this summer. Excavation and forming of the swimming pool and pouring of concrete pavement for parent and bus drives will begin soon.

“Work at Lamar is going very well so far,” HISD General Manager of Construction Services Andreas Peeples said. “It’s a large project, but we’re hitting these significant milestones right on schedule.”

Part of the 2012 Bond Program, the Lamar project is designed to preserve the architecturally significant building structure and accommodate up to 3,100 students.

A new four-story academic wing is being constructed on the east side of the campus, perpendicular to the existing building. It will feature four large flexible academic areas to facilitate the school’s interdisciplinary and project-based approach to educating students. Each area will be divided into self-contained “neighborhoods” that house 200 or fewer students.

The academic wing also will feature a large covered transit center for bus and parent drop-off, black box theater and band instruction area, a large banquet and food preparation space for the school’s culinary program, and other career and technical education spaces.

The existing main building with the well-known art deco facade facing Westheimer Road will to continue to serve as the main entrance to the school. It will house the existing auditorium, an alumni center, a child-care facility for faculty and staff, and a performing arts area.

The new school is on track to be complete and open to students in time for the start of the 2019-2020 school year. Additional site work — including demolition of some existing structures and installation of athletics fields — will follow.

Lamar is among 40 schools, including 29 high schools, being rebuilt or renovated as part of HISD’s 2012 Bond Program. More than 70 percent of all 2012 Bond projects are complete, and that number is expected to top 80 percent by the end of 2018.

Follow @Build_HISD on Twitter for the latest updates on the 2012 Bond Program and school construction across the district.