June 12, 2021
By Alyssa Lally
Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council
Last month, work began on renovations to Lee’s Summit High School. The changes will modernize the nearly-70-year-old campus by adding amenities and changing the lay out.
“Nearly every square foot of the existing school is undergoing renovation,” said Mike Chiles, JE Dunn’s Senior Project Manager for the renovations and a 2003 Lee’s Summit High School graduate.
The renovations were part of a $224 million bond, which Lee’s Summit voters overwhelmingly approved in June 2020. The new design will add 60,000 square feet of space. It will also include an updated media center, centralized administrative services, energy-efficient mechanical and electrical systems, a second-story passageway between the buildings, collaboration spaces, and a greenway to allow students to get outside throughout the day. Perhaps one of the most high-profile changes, though, will be the fate of the iconic tiger on the south side of the building. According to Chiles, LSHS alumni have no need to worry.
“The tiger head is special to many, including me, and was a topic of many discussions throughout the design process,” said Chiles. “The tiger head is designed to remain a part of the LSHS elevations.”
The renovation at Lee’s Summit High School is not the only project JE Dunn is working on as part of the 2020 bond. The company is also the construction manager for the expansion and renovation at Mason Elementary, which will add similar modernization.
“We were recently able to show our building addition progress to several of the students, and it was one of the most rewarding days for our team. Seeing the students excited about their upcoming accommodation improvements was wonderful,” said Chiles.
After working throughout the country for several years, Chiles said it has been incredibly rewarding to him and his family returning to the Lee’s Summit area and being able to contribute to positive changes at his alma mater.
“It is wonderful being alumni and still seeing staff that were a part of my education journey nearly 20 years ago,” said Chiles. “It is very exciting to return to the campus and be a part of marrying the wonderful history of the school with modernizing the campus to prepare the best environments for building up future leaders of the community and beyond.”
The renovations for Lee’s Summit High School are expected to be complete in 2023, which happens to be the 20-year anniversary of Chiles’ high school graduation.