LHS additions

LHS+football+field+plans+layed+out+on+this+sheet+for+the+new+layout

Joey Struwey

LHS’ football field plans layed out on this sheet for the new layout

Vanessa Timat, Staff Writer

Recently, the city announced that they will start construction on Cliff Avenue in the next couple of weeks. The estimated time to finish is around August which could affect the traffic flow of the 2022-23 school year for LHS. To add to that, the football field is getting new turf and stadium lights all around to update the outside. This is all around very exciting but the real questions are: What are the plans for this project? And how will this affect the students?

LHS’ Resource Officer, Robert Draeger has been informed about a lot of the upcoming road projects.

“There are three projects that are going to impact LHS this year and [there is] one major one in the future. There’s a concrete repair project that’s happening on Cliff Avenue in front of the school. There’s one where Cliff Avenue is completely going to shut down 49th street to 56th, which is south of [LHS], up the hill a ways,” said Draeger. “[And] there’s a huge interstate interchange on Cliff Avenue coming up in a couple of years.”

Although this will cause a lot of traffic jams and less road space, the city is trying to get the job done before school starts again in the fall. However, not everyone believes that it will be fully complete at that time. 

“For this summer, the one right in front [of LHS] on Cliff Avenue hopefully will be done before school begins but might impact things this summer if you’re coming here for something,” said Draeger. “[The 49th to 56th project] they’re saying is going to be done by August or something like that. I doubt it. That one is going to affect us a lot.”

If the South Cliff Avenue project is not completed on time, there could be a lot of backup caused. The students will need to find alternate routes to get to school safely and on time.

“Anyone traveling to LHS from the south, it’s going to take a while because the traffic is really going to be backed up to one lane in each direction at best, unless we have a perfect construction season and they can get something done. But I anticipate the first few weeks of school this fall, [the students] will be impacted by that,” said Draeger.

Another big project happening this summer is the complete renovation of the football field. The school is incorporating new turf instead of grass and new stadium lights all around. Athletic director Joey Struwe predicts that this will be done before school starts in the fall and should not affect the students too much. 

“We shouldn’t have to block off the traffic like we did this year. All of the major construction will be done over the summer with the big trucks coming in and hauling out. That should all be done over the summer when we don’t have much traffic anywhere. So, unless something really goes wrong, we should be done with that well before school [starts],” said Struwe.

The biggest impact will be during the summer. Since the whole field is being ripped apart, different events hosted at LHS will need to find new spaces to practice at. 

“Football practice can’t start until August 11. They have some camps, and we’re going to send one of the camps up to Patrick Henry Middle School. And one of them will be out at Howard Wood field so they’ll have a place to go,” said Struwe. “For [marching] band, typically in July, they go to Axtell Park for Spat Camp, so that won’t be a problem, and they usually don’t use the practice field. We’re going to mark out some lines in a parking lot or do some things like that.” 

As far as these projects go, there are a lot of big changes coming to LHS. The students and staff are excited to see what advantages are going to be taking place. 

“It’s going to be great, we will be able to use that a lot more. Just because we were limited to daylight hours and the later it goes into October, the shorter the day gets. So the less time you can use it as the year goes on. So we will be able to host soccer matches here so that’ll be fun,” said Struwe.