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In less than 10 months, the Lafayette High campus has undergone a transformation.

Baseball and softball fields have been converted into a parking lot, and the skeleton of a new building stands behind the 70-year-old building on Congress Street. This skeleton of a new three-story building consists of more than 1,700 tons and more than 4,000 yards of steel, said Sean Landry, a senior construction manager with Lemoine Construction.

“We see this as a monumental thing for the Lafayette community,” he said. “It’s a first-class facility for these students. We look forward to providing a facility that will continue to benefit generations to come.”

The final steel beam was placed on top of the structure on Wednesday morning, and the moment was celebrated with a topping-out ceremony, a tradition that Landry said has continued for centuries.

The green bar facing Forman Drive features the signatures of construction workers helping to build the new school, students entering the new halls as the first graduating class, Lafayette High teachers and staff, and other community members.

Layne Edelman, principal of Lafayette High School, said the “milestone” represents not only material progress but also the fulfillment of the hopes of a community that has been advocating for a new school for years.

“This new building is more than just bricks and mortar,” she said. “It represents our commitment to providing an exceptional learning environment for our students.”

Read more about the LHS construction

Once completed, the state-of-the-art building will accommodate around 2,300 students. It will have 52 classrooms and laboratories, a dedicated library, new woodworking and welding workshops, a new gymnasium, a 600-seat concert hall and other amenities.

“This will undoubtedly transform every home and every business in the area,” said Lafayette School Superintendent Francis Touchet Jr. “I’m excited that we have the opportunity to have this impact on the community.”

Now that the last steel beam is in place, things are “moving quickly,” Landry said.

The new building is scheduled to welcome students and staff in fall 2025. The old building will be demolished after the new building opens, with all construction scheduled to be completed by spring 2026.