Community Celebrates Opening Of New LHS Wing
Hundreds turned out to enjoy the dedication of the new Lakewood High Performing Arts & Physical Education Wing on a hot but beautiful Sunday afternoon on August 20. The dedication marked the near completion of the final construction project of the District's Facilities Master Plan. The gym and fitness center, which is partially funded by First Federal Lakewood, is scheduled to open November 1.
Superintendent Jeff Patterson, Board of Education President Betsy Shaughnessy, and Principal Keith Ahearn made remarks that included thanking the community for its longtime strong support that has made the construction of our new schools possible and also thanking them for their patience through the many ups and downs of the 12-year process of rebuiilding or renovating our 10 schools.
"We wouldn’t be at this point today without the patience, understanding and cooperation of the Lakewood High students, parents and staff – both current students and those who endured the years of life in the mods without knowing when they would see the light at the end of the tunnel. It has been a challenging few years for the LHS community, but I think we can all agree the end result was worth the journey," said Superintendent Jeff Patterson.
The new LHS wing, along with the Academic Wing that opened in January 2017, is the final piece of the final phase - of which the State of Ohio contributed half the funds - of the master construction plan.
Board President Shaughnessy recounted all the people along the way who made the completion of the Facilities Master Plan possible, from the 50 Years Committee members to the parents and students adapting to so many transitions to the administrators that kept the projects on task.
"On behalf of the Board – thank you all for your efforts – your support, commitment and vision, " Shaughnessy said. "If we can come together to accomplish this massive undertaking there is no reason to believe we can’t meet any challenge that comes before us."
State legislators Mike Skindell and Nickie Antonio were also on hand to present proclamations on behalf of their legislative bodies. The ceremony ended with the highlight of the program: student leaders, flanked by the Board of Education members, cutting the ribbon on the new wing. Class presidents Gabrielle Eisel (2018), Nathan Bilski (2019) and Ella Atfield (2020), along with Student Council President Brian Donahoe, had the honor of cutting.
Following the dedication ceremony, which included music from the Lakewood Ranger Marching Band and a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem by senior Hannah Cogar, the community was invited in to tour the new building.