With groundbreaking for new Lee High, EBR superintendent says maybe community can 'bury the past'
Members of the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board, local elected officials and Lee High School alumni today celebrated the official groundbreaking of the new $54.4 million campus, as well as the appointment of Baton Rouge Magnet principal Nanette McCann as principal of Lee High.
McCann will preside as principal of both schools—with the help of multiple assistant principals at each—in part because of her experience leading Baton Rouge Magnet throughout the reopening of its campus after a $58.2 million refurbishment in 2010.
Lee High received approval last year from the school board to become a magnet school. EBR executive director of communications Keith Bromery says there have been no other cases of a single principal overseeing two schools in the district to his knowledge, though he encountered such instances in the four school districts he previously worked in.
The new campus will include three 39,000-square-foot academy buildings to house the school's three magnet programs—Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), Biomedical Sciences and Digital Media—as well as a 60,000-square-foot common building, which will house a cafeteria, gymnasium, fitness center, JROTC facility and multipurpose space.
Several school system and elected officials also took the opportunity at this morning's groundbreaking to call for bipartisan support of the school system at large, which survived legislative attempts at restructuring during the recently ended session.
"Today, my challenge to you is that if collectively we have not done our best, let's start today," said Mayor Kip Holden. His sentiments were echoed by Sen. Dan Claitor, R-Baton Rouge, who stressed, "It is so nice to be here on something we're united on."
And as local leaders prepared to break ground, EBR Superintendent Bernard Taylor said: "Maybe, as we start with a new Lee High, we can start with a new East Baton Rouge Parish school district … maybe, as we shovel this dirt, we can bury the past."
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