Rebuild underway at Lehi High School

Jennifer Wirth | Lehi Free Press

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Demolition is underway at Lehi High School in preparation for rebuilding the school. The rebuild will be completed using a multi-phased plan that will update and replace school facilities and add new classrooms to the existing school’s footprint. Faculty and students at Lehi High School face the challenge of balancing their usual activities at the school with the trappings of construction work.

Current projections show completion of the rebuild to be in the spring of 2021. When asked how the faculty plans to handle construction while class is in session, Assistant Principal Matt King quickly replied “Very carefully. It’s important for people to know that we aren’t losing any of our programs during construction.” Principal Doug Webb echoed this statement, saying “Things will be built and moved into before we tear down what it has replaced. We will always have gyms and an auditorium and classrooms.”

Concerns about construction affecting the student experience were addressed by Principal Webb, “Every student that attends Lehi High School will have the full high school experience. There will be safety zones and places where we are isolated. We are keeping the satellite [building] so there will always be overflow for classrooms.” One exception to that rule has been the tennis courts. The courts have been demolished for construction on what will become the agriculture and woodshop facilities. “The tennis community has been awesome. They are currently playing at Willowcreek Middle School,” Webb added. Tennis courts will be rebuilt on the school site later.

Lehi High School has a restricted footprint in a confined area that makes parking troublesome. Parking has currently been reduced and relocated for the faculty, and parking options will continually change as construction moves along. Assistant Principal King said, “Nothing has been finalized but we are looking at some options for overflow parking. We are looking at whether or not we may need to limit the number of parking permits we sell. It’s a concern and we haven’t figured out all of those answers yet.” Principal Webb said they will let students know if and when their parking will be restricted or reduced.

Currently, there are no exact plans for the look and layout of the completed building, although it is known that the finished building will have three stories. Principal Webb said “Generally speaking, we know where new gyms will be, how many we will have, where the new auditorium will be. We know that’s all coming within the next three years. There are a lot of great people working on this rebuild. When a school is built or updated, it goes to bid. You get an architectural firm working with a general contractor working with the district construction people working with Lehi High School people. I attend weekly meetings specifically for this rebuild.”

Monthly updates are given to the school community council and PTA to answer questions as they arise. In the near future, a banner will be hung on the fence of the high school property along Main Street showing the different phases of construction. Visitors to the high school’s website will currently find a page with information dedicated to the rebuild.

Lehi High School was originally built in its current location in 1960. King said “There are a lot of deep community roots here in Lehi. There’s a lot of heritage and history here, and that’s one of the considerations in this rebuild. There are some meaningful ways that we can preserve that and include it in the new building, and we are keeping that in our minds as we make plans.”

A current display in the high school shows the renderings for the original building. Principal Webb said “This is going to be a beautiful school, and our facilities are going to rival any school out there. We are really excited about it. This is a very exciting time for us at Lehi High School.”

Current enrollment at the high school is 1,450 students. In keeping pace with expected growth in the community, the new building is expected to accommodate up to 2,000 students.

Rebuild Timetable

2018

Vocational building

Boiler plant

New main gym & first auxiliary   gym

Athletic facilities, locker rooms, wrestling room

2019

Auditorium

Fine arts classrooms and practice rooms

Three-story classroom wing

2020

Second auxiliary gym and PE   classrooms

Media center

Counseling center

Cafeteria/commons are

Two-story classroom wing

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