How Much Headway Has Been Made on Lamar High School’s Eastside Extension

The steel is up on the site of Lamar High School’s new campus, nearly in its sophomore year of construction adjacent to the existing building at 3325 Westheimer. Photos of the new schoolhouse — which will front Eastside St. to the east of the old building — show it still in assembly on what used to be the high school’s track and athletic field. When it’s done, the planned 4-story structure will house 2,800 to 3,100 students, who will spend most of their class time in the new building, but still be able to access its neighbor through a 2nd-story concourse that links to it.

The perspective section below from architect Perkins + Will slices open both the planned and existing buildings and peers south into their classrooms. On the right, it shows the concourse plugging into the old building’s gray exterior:


Covered driveways on the new building’s east side along Eastside serve as chauffeur points for parents and buses. Here’s what the porte-cochère looks like from the street:

The full site plan for the 25-acre parcel indicates a multi-level parking garage south beyond what’s visible in the rendering:

To accommodate the school’s new academic model, sections of the building will be configured as “self-contained neighborhoods” of up to 200 students within the same grade:

Outside of the school’s instructional colonies, the building will house a theater, gym, cafeteria, and swimming pool — done-up below in varsity fashion:

The school’s main entrance will still be through the front door in the old building’s art deco facade — across the big lawn from Westheimer:

To the west, the existing auditorium — with that mural of Texas carved into its forehead — will still be used. Lamar plans to add new alumni office space, a childcare center for teachers and staff, and an extra performing arts area to the building.

Behind the steel that’s already gone up, most of the block along Eastside is still unbuilt:

Photos: Swamplot inbox. Renderings, perspective section, and site plan: HISD

Secondary Education Building

5 Comment

  • This is talking forever. My friend who works at Lamar has so many sorted stories on this mess. Design and re designs, internal turf wars, petty fighting. Just absurd.

  • Took a tour of Lamar last year. Having never been inside before I was aghast at how many kids were packed into the hallways. The small windows at ceiling height covered with bars did nothing to help it feel less like a prison. I’m sure parents, students, and faculty alike are chomping at the bit for the new space. Seems like a very frustrating thing to have to put up with.

  • 1. What bars across what windows? What you say is there, is not there. Why lie?

    2. As far as how long it is taking, the last time there was an update, they were three weeks ahead of schedule. This is a relatively new concept as far as schools go. Designs and redesigns will happen in cases like this.

  • I was breifly involved in the Ballou HS (Washington DC) upgrade when the district spent 150m upgrading the school years ago. It was a mess to begin with. Basically too many hands fighting over the honeypot tangled with design firms fighting over their piece of the pie. That was then and when I saw this post it reminded me of that and I inquired through google what had happened since then. Turns out the politics didnt stop there but carried into a whole new drama related to the architecture of getting students out of the school regardless of attendance and grades for personal/school district satisphicstion. School districts are natorious for this type of corruption all over the country and seeing this article only cemented what I saw a long time ago beyond the Ballou episode which is the common misconception that all you have to do to fix a problem is throw more money at it. When you are not part of the solution there is a lot of money made in prolonging the problem….

  • Bars on windows? Are you insane or just blind?
    Obviously “Nice Neighbor” is a troll …. who would have thought it would happen on Swamplot?