Open Houses Showcase What’s New at Arlington High Schools
By Office of Communication
Posted on August 16, 2012, August 16, 2012

Open Houses are par for the course for high schools wanting to wow new students to a bigger, better and certainly cooler campus, but at Arlington and Lamar high schools you could say even upperclassman will be struck by a kind of wow factor this year.

Students and parents arriving for recent Open Houses at Arlington and Lamar High Schools were enthusiastically directed to a multitude of new additions including computer labs, dance rooms, choir halls, resurfaced athletic fields and tennis courts.

Both schools have undergone such noticeable alterations even the principals say it's a little like walking into an entirely new building.

"We've been around since the 50's so any time something like this is added, it's huge," said Arlington Principal Jennifer Young.

An "all around facelift" is how Principal Dr. Larry Harmon describes Lamar's changes.

At Arlington, several classrooms have been added to the west side of the building but the most anticipated addition is the school cafeteria, which took all of last school year to build. Students used three kiosks and had to eat in classrooms, on floors or outside.

As the old cafeteria had only four serving lines this one will have seven. There's even audiovisual capabilities and a sound system, "which means it will be a great place not just for lunch but nice to have banquets and meetings," said Young.

Over at the football field, artificial turf has replaced grass and the running track has been resurfaced as well.

Another notable addition: a digital marquee, paid for by the AHS PTA, replaces the older, manual version where staffers had to climb a ladder, spell out the messages and hope the letters stayed put. ("Usually, they didn't," said Young.)

At Lamar, the school added enough classrooms, including a choir hall and dance studio - to do away with the portable ones, and have made good use of the new space by constructing additional tennis courts (All the older ones are being resurfaced as well.)

In fact, Lamar has a brand new wing on the east side of the building that now houses the English/Language Arts department and a jazzy-looking skyway designed to move students to classes quicker.

"It really does have the feel of a new school," Harmon said. "I'm sure students and parents will be impressed with what they see."

By Ken Perkins

 Arlington High Schools

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