Lamar HS construction nears 70 percent completion

Driving down Westheimer Road near River Oaks, it’s easy to see progress on Lamar High School’s new building, as crews have surpassed the two-thirds mark and are on track to complete construction this summer.

The $122.9 million building was completely enclosed in January. Electrical wiring, ceiling grid, and drywall installation are in progress and HVAC installation is set to begin this week.

“I’m really pleased with the progress being made each day,” Project Manager Marvin Stone said. “It’s going to be a beautiful facility.”

Part of the 2012 Bond Program, the Lamar project features a state-of-the-art new school that includes preservation of its original architecturally significant building structure.

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

The existing main building with the well-known art deco facade facing Westheimer Road will continue to serve as the main entrance to the school. It will house the existing auditorium, an alumni center, new performing arts studios, and large suites for the engineering and business programs.

Renovations to the existing facility are also in progress, and the concrete has been poured for an enclosed second-story sky bridge connecting the existing building to the new.

“It is amazing to see the new building take shape,” Lamar Principal Rita Graves said. “All of us – students, teachers, parents, and staff – are so excited to move in this summer.”

Additional progress includes completion of the parking garage, furniture selection and ordering, and swimming pool excavation with installation of the pool wall set for next week.

The new facility is slated to open 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.

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