The East Baton Rouge Parish School System commissioned GraceHebert Architects, in association with DLR Group, to design a new, 21st Century high school to replace its existing Lee High School. DLR Group collaborated with the client to develop guiding principles for the design through a series of visioning meetings with administrators, staff, students, business partners, and community members. This process identified six themes which guided the design process: Learner-Centered Environments, Engage Every Student, Personalization Leads to Creative Collaboration, Flexibility and Adaptability are Keys to our Success, Partnerships Leverage Positive Student Outcomes, and Sustainability and Site Development are Vital. These guiding principles deliver a technology rich and adaptable school that supports project based learning with flexible spaces that are easily configured for a variety of uses. Visual connections in learning labs and specialized spaces give students a reason to become excited about learning. Students and staff collaborate throughout the facility, providing opportunities for interdisciplinary and cross-curriculum instruction. The facility is designed to promote real-life experiences, allowing students to apply what they learn in a classroom in a specialized laboratory within their academy.
The scope for this new 250,000 SF high school is centered on four individual buildings, in a campus-like setting to serve 1,200 students in grades 9-12. Three, 400-student academies deliver a personalized and customizable learning experience in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), Bio-medical, and Digital Arts. A separate commons building combines the identities of the three academies and houses shared functions. DLR Group provided planning and architecture services for the project in partnership with GraceHebert Architects.