New Lee High design aims for relevance in 2056
Baton Rouge Business Report
September 30, 2013
By Rachel Alexander
After viewing renderings and plans for the new Lee High School STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and Visual Performing Arts Magnet Academy at a recent unveiling hosted by East Baton Rouge Parish Schools Superintendent Bernard Taylor and Grace & Hebert Architects, many who attended were left wondering: Will anything of the old Lee High remain the same on the new $53.9 million campus?
"The only thing that's the same is you have students and you have teachers," says GHA architect David Hebert.
Indeed, the three academies and commons building—unattached and angled to preserve longstanding oak trees and a central grass ravine on the property—look more like the campus of a community college than that of a traditional high school. Each three-story, 39,000-square-foot academy building will resemble a small high school, says Hebert, accommodating 400 students focused on biomedical studies, digital arts, and STEM, respectively.
Inside each academy, open, multipurpose spaces replace corridors; and movable walls, some of which can be written on, replace traditional boundaries.
"It's not a corridor with cells and bells," Hebert quips.
It's a prototype for the future, Taylor adds.