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Local Lee High alumni see demolition as bittersweet

Local Lee High alumni see demolition as bittersweet
Photo provided by Laurence Landon

POSTED: Monday, July 1, 2013 - 5:30pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - 9:45am

The demolition of Lee High School in Baton Rouge is underway. When it's done, it will be a new type of school for hundreds of kids all across the parish.

The almost $60 million project just started and when it's all said and done, there will be room for 600 kids. Though many parents see it as a big improvement, some local Lee High alumni told NBC33 it's tough seeing the place torn to the ground.

“Three years ago they were going to shut it down completely and to see them revamp it and give it a whole new look, I think it's great," said Kristin Slyvester, Lee High alum.

“We didn't think it was ever going to be here again,” stated Laurence Landon, another alum.

But even though these two alumni are excited for the new Lee High, a piece of their past is being torn down with it.

“It’s sad to see the halls that we walk down being complete torn down to the ground," noted Sylvester.

For Slyvester, what comes to mind are her mistakes, accomplishments and the place she met her first love, Laurence.

For Ladon, we walked through the empty classrooms, which brought back old memories and experiences for him as well.

“I enjoyed the good timed we had a lot of great experiences here, a lot of fun," said Landon.

But he knows even though the halls he once walked down will no longer be there, he’s looking forward to the opportunities the new Lee High will give to the community.

“The fact that they are making it a magnet school they will have so many more options than I did when I came here and I am hoping they take advantage of that," noted Landon.

So as the buildings that housed thousands of students gets torn to the ground, Laurence and Kristin just hopes the new students share one thing they did.

“I am just hoping they have the sense of pride that we do still to this day,” stated Sylvester.

The school was always slated to be rebuilt under the tax plan. But the makeover is because there was a huge need in the community for more of the specialized learning that Lee will offer as a magnet school. The design is still being developed with community input. It’ll be ready for the first students in 2015.

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