Chris Woods News

Lakeland Prep high school construction on schedule

Posted by | July 08 2021

This article originally appeared in the Daily Memphian.

Lakeland Prep high school construction on schedule

About this time next year, Lakeland School System should put the finishing touches on its first high school, and some of the amenities will be ready when the new school year starts next month.

The $40 million Lakeland Preparatory High School wing is adjacent to the existing Lakeland Middle Preparatory School constructed five years ago. The new building will fill a void for the municipal school system: Lakeland is the only one of the six suburban districts without its own high school. The bulk of high school students in Lakeland attend Arlington High.

With the opening of Lakeland Prep, freshmen who reside in the suburb will move to the new high school, and the district will add a high school grade over the following three years.

LSS Superintendent Ted Horrell sees the addition opening as scheduled in the fall 2022, while the new Lakeland Prep Athletic Annex, a shared project with the City of Lakeland, will open on the campus next month.

“We’ve really been fortunate in that there have been very few setbacks, aside from some extended rainy periods,” Horrell said. He credits Chris Woods Construction and their subcontractors for keeping the project on schedule.

The construction team is focusing on the building’s academic wing and the offices first, with the roof and air conditioning units already installed on that part of the building. The new gymnasium walls are nearly finished, and the new cafeteria area is also under a roof.

“We’ve also sequenced the new home-side football stadium bleachers and track/field installation so it will be available for this next school year,” Horrell said.

The 218,000-square-foot high school wing will feature a two-story classroom section, courtyard, labs, varsity gymnasium, wrestling area, auditorium and fine arts facilities. Also, part of the project are baseball and softball fields, track, home-side bleachers, football field house, baseball locker room, multipurpose locker room and concessions for football and soccer.

The Athletic Annex that opens next month includes an additional five multipurpose fields.

Lakeland Parks and Recreation Director Patrick O’Mara says the city is excited to continue its cooperative relationship with LSS with the opening of the fields. The city and school district will share use of the fields.

“This increase in available facilities will allow the Parks and Recreation department to grow and add programming for the citizens of Lakeland,” O’Mara said. “The Lakeland School System has created a facility that the community can be excited and proud about.”

Between the city and the school system, anticipated uses include children and adult soccer, lacrosse, flag football, football practice, and any other functions needed by the school’s athletic programs.

“During the fall, we will be running flag and tackle football as well as recreation soccer,” O’Mara said.

Work started at the high school site last July, and the projected project finish date is June 15, 2022, in time for the start of the 2022-23 school year.