LHJH February 1969. Photo by Stephanie Winn Miller.

If you’ve been meaning to drop by Lake Highlands Junior High and get a glimpse of your old alma mater before it meets the wrecking ball, you don’t have time to waste. This is the last semester for the grand old dame. The new Lake Highlands Middle School will open next fall just east of the current LHJH facility.

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Former students and members of the entire Lake Highlands community are invited to an open house Tuesday, March 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. — your last chance to tour classrooms, the library, the gymnasium and even the principal’s office, whether you never set foot inside or spent lots of time, um chatting, with the top man himself.

The party atmosphere will include performances by current student groups, dinner by Burger Schmurger, coffee by East Dallas Middle Ground and dessert by Mr. Sugar Rush. Attendees will have a chance to purchase items soon-to-be pulled from the building, including seating, bricks and other memorabilia. There’ll also be butcher paper in classrooms to write notes to remember funny stories, remembered friends or beloved teachers. Old yearbooks will be available to flip through, and PTA scrapbooks will be on hand — the real paper kind with actual photos and glued-in keepsakes.

In 2021, the Richardson ISD school board unanimously approved a transition from the junior high to the middle school education model, to be implemented in 2024-25. LHJH was built in 1956 and was too outdated to be refurbished, so a completely new building is almost finished on the east side of campus.