There’s big doing’s up at the LHHS campus! Work is proceeding on the new Lake Highlands Freshman Center.

That’s the name recommended to the superintendent by a committee composed of students, parents and staff. This same committee also selected school colors of red and white, and (surprise) a wildcat as mascot.

In May, the tractors stopped long enough for a groundbreaking ceremony attended by folks from throughout the district. Seventh-graders from Lake Highlands and Forest Meadow junior highs, who will be the first class of students to attend the new school, donned red hard hats and attempted to turn dirt with bright, shiny shovels.

I say “attempted” because what with being children of the electronic age and all, there was some confusion about how to operate an instrument without a power switch. But being hearty Lake Highlands pioneers, they overcame adversity, and construction is proceeding nicely.

By the time August rolls around, the building footprint will be in place, and steel girders will be sprouting from the ground. In addition, parking lots and driveways throughout the entire campus will be resurfaced.

When everything is completed, there will be about the same number of parking places available to students, faculty and patrons as there were before.

This structure is the first public project in the state to be built under the “design-build concept,” in which the architect and contractor bid as partners.

Teaming during the design phase coordinates engineering systems, reduces the possibility of cost overruns and missed schedules, and allows RISD to lock the partners in to delivering at their bid price.

The principal of Lake Highlands Freshman Center will be named in June and next fall, two additional committees will fire up to address staffing and site-based management activities.

Top Graduates

Lake Highlands is known for producing quality graduates and this year is no exception. The Class of ’97 is graduating with roughly $5 million in scholarships, the most ever in RISD history! Importantly, more of these scholarships are academic rather than athletic.

This class also boasts 13 National Merit Finalists (the most for LHHS in 15 years), 16 National Merit Commended Scholars, one Black National Achievement recipient and two Hispanic National Achievement recipients.

There are 184 honor graduates, meaning they have a 90 or above G.P.A. Five students have been accepted into the prestigious Plan 2 at University of Texas, 10 to the UT Business School and three have service academy appointments.

Way to go, Cats!