LHS gets a face lift


Gabie McConnell

One of the new additions to LHS is the virtual trophy case located near the trophies in the foyer.

Gabie McConnell, Staff Writer

As LHS students ring in the new school year they may notice the new stickers on the windows, the teachers taking their parking spots or the lack of an E-wing bathroom. Whatever it may be, there is no doubt that LHS looks different. 

The city of Sioux Falls approved a $190 million bond proposal in 2018, the largest in Sioux Falls School District history. LHS has been given a share of the bond’s proceeds to help fund numerous new or upgraded areas around the school. Construction on these improvements started at the end of last school year and has continued into the 21-22 school year. These upgrades include new E-Wing bathrooms, an HVAC system and external windows, to name a few. Students and teachers alike can expect to reap the benefits of these upgrades to LHS. 

“We got new windows, so some of the energy savings and being more efficient, you won’t necessarily see that but that is something that will benefit us,” said LHS principal Dr. Laura Raeder. 

One of the biggest upgrades are the new View Sonic ViewBoards to replace SMART boards. Although these will most likely not arrive until December, every classroom will receive one. Another update that will benefit the classrooms in E-Wing are the new bathrooms. These bathrooms will also be an upgrade for student-athletes and spectators with the exterior bathroom access that they will offer. Unfortunately, the bathrooms are yet to be opened as they wait for supplies to be delivered. COVID-19 continues to loom, causing staffing shortages and spikes in shipping that have challenged the construction at LHS.

“Some of the challenges for the people working were getting their supplies and hiring people to work. For example, the roof of the tennis shed took forever for the materials to get in,” said Dr. Raeder. 

Last school year when construction began, teachers were forced to move into student parking to allow room for the construction equipment. These delays with construction have caused that same problem to continue into this school year, leaving students with less parking. Though shipping delays persist, there is light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the LHS parking fiasco.

“By Oct. 15 we are supposed to have all of our parking spots back. However, there are probably about 4-6 weeks left until all the construction is complete,” said Dr. Raeder.

While construction may be frustrating, these updates were long overdue, especially when LHS will now be compared to a brand new high school. With the addition of JHS, some may think it would be hard for LHS to compete with all the new school has to offer; however, Dr. Raeder would disagree. 

“There’s just something special about this building that a new building will never have… the uniqueness of having what we have that you won’t be able to have anywhere else,” said Dr. Raeder. 

With over 50 years of history, there is no doubt LHS is filled with tradition and Patriot pride. Thanks to these updates, LHS will continue to be the great place it is for many years to come.