September 30, 2023
Current and former Lee’s Summit High School Tigers (LSHS) gathered last week to celebrate two exciting milestones: the conclusion of $80 million in renovations and additions to the campus and the 150-year anniversary of high school in Lee’s Summit.
Nearly 1,000 members of the school community attended Friday’s Open House and experienced nostalgia for their days walking the halls and excitement for the school’s current and future students.
“We were able to celebrate the tradition that exists within our institution, but also the significance of change that is meant to propel LSHS forward,” said LSHS Principal Dr. Kari Harrison.
The new, contemporary layout of the building is not just for aesthetics. Its flexible design allows for teachers and students to explore new ways to learn. Classrooms may spill into open hallways and shared flex spaces, but just as often, teachers are holding lessons in spaces not typically thought of as classrooms at all.
“If you take a ten-minute stroll, you are going to see teaching and learning,” said Dr. Harrison. “It’s anywhere and everywhere. When I walk through, I can see the magic happening.”
Many visitors praised the transformation, calling it “beautiful” and expressing their happiness for the Tigers of tomorrow. The three-year construction project, which added more than 60,000 feet of new square footage to the campus and renovated nearly all instructional spaces, was made possible by a no tax rate increase bond issue supported by LSR7 voters in 2020.
Students, such as senior Leah Roberts, can already feel the difference.
“The furniture adds more life and gives the students and teachers a more comfortable learning environment than the old desks and chairs,” she said.
Roberts volunteered to run a science demonstration during the Open House, and met many alumni that returned to see their old stomping grounds.
The LSHS class of 1973, for example, celebrated their 50-year reunion, and longtime friends Julia Bredin (née Galloway), Susie McCann Wynn and Ann Martell Walton kicked off the weekend with a visit to the open house. They painted matching “73”s on their cheeks to signify their piece of LSHS history.
“To see generations of Tigers showing up all in one place, that’s pretty remarkable,” said Dr. Harrison.