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Gateway High School takes another step toward completion

By Staff | Feb 12, 2020

The first walls of the new Gateway High School were lifted into place last Monday. PHOTO PROVIDED

The first walls of the new Gateway High School were lifted into place last week, marking the next step towards campus completion.

These walls are made up of the first 93 panels which form the main building of the high school. The three-story building is the future site of the school’s academies, classrooms, offices and media spaces.

“The building process for this section takes the crews about 15 days, so we will see completion of this portion in about seven days, depending on weather conditions of course,” said Rob Spicker, School District of Lee County spokesperson.

According to Spicker, the main building’s outer wall is expected to be completed next week. This will make way for crews to begin work on the adjacent building.

“Once finished with this phase, the crews will begin to work on the walls for the school’s cafeteria, gymnasium and black-box theater,” Spicker said. “The black-box theater will sit approximately 600 people and be an all-black venue inside, which gives them more versatility than a traditional auditorium. The seats will be retractable to allow for more space in case of bad weather. This allows a space for the school’s bands and athletic teams to practice and hold rehearsals.”

Construction crews are able to cast all panels on-site, which makes the whole process more streamlined.

“They engineer each panel and pour it into casts that are located on-site. Once they cut the windows, and light fixture spaces, they are ready to lift and put each one into place,” Spicker explained. “Those foundations can then be broken up and reused somewhere else at the same site.”

The final completion date for Gateway High School remains April of 2022.

“Students already have the ability to choose Gateway during this year’s school choice. The freshman class will attend classes inside portables stationed at Lehigh Senior High School. The students will have separate classrooms, a cafeteria, separate entrance and exit, all self-contained on that campus,” Spicker said. “It’s good because this will enable the first core group of teachers and students an opportunity to bond. They will form a culture, create clubs and athletic teams.”

“Those students will also be a strong voice that creates what the school will be for the students coming in behind them,” Spicker added.

Gateway High School is being built at the intersection of SR-82 and Griffin Drive on a property consisting of about 56 acres.

Construction will cost about $98 million, according to school officials.