The new B hall expansion, which was completed before the start of this school year, brought many new classrooms along with the addition of STEM labs. Adding these, as well as a new dance studio, a black box theater, added cafeteria seating, upgraded art studios, and many other additions for the fine arts programs, raised the school’s capacity from 1,500 to 2,000 students.
Up next in the ongoing expansion of the building is the addition of new locker rooms for many sports, which will be carried out in three phases and is scheduled to start in June and conclude in August of 2019. Dennis Womack, assistant superintendent for operations, outlined the construction plans.
“The golf and tennis locker rooms and baseball and softball locker rooms will begin in June 2017 with an anticipated completion of Spring Break 2018,” Womack said. “The multipurpose building will start following the golf and tennis and baseball and softball completion and be completed by August 2018. The field house renovation will start in September 2018 and be completed by August 2019.”
The list of sports getting new locker rooms includes baseball, basketball, cheerleading, football, golf, soccer, tennis, track and cross country, and volleyball. Additionally, the training rooms in the field house and gym will be expanded.
“The new locker room is going to be very beneficial to our program,” head boys basketball coach Kyle Herrema said. “With the current design, we have very limited opportunity to meet as a group in the locker room for meetings [and] our watching film as a group. The new layout will help with this aspect of our program.”
The bond for new locker rooms was approved by LISD voters in May of 2014.
“This project is part of the long-range master plan for the high school campus,” Womack said. “As the student body grows, there is a need for classrooms and supporting facilities to accommodate the student growth. Many programs are already out of locker space and have students sharing lockers.”
Cross country and track coach Logan Kelly said “the new locker rooms will be a great addition to Lovejoy and really enhance the student athlete’s experience.”
“Locker space is definitely needed,” Kelly said. “Currently, the girls locker room is shared by soccer, track, cross country, golf, tennis, and softball. Right now, we have girls who don’t even use the locker room because it is so crowded, and they do not have a locker or have to share a locker. Some prefer to change in the bathroom near the stadium. Each sport having their own locker room space will help create team unity and also give needed space for lockers and changing.”
The new addition will be occurring at multiple locations around the school.
“Currently, plans are to [first] expand the gym locker rooms to the east toward the east parking lot, [then to expand on to the] south end of the multipurpose building, and [third] on [to] the north and south side of the visitor south concession building by the tennis courts,” Womack said.
With the growth expected to reach around 1,800 students, the addition is part of the district’s preparation for the future.
“The school was originally designed for a much smaller school. As we have continued to grow, the new build will help with that projected growth,” Herrema said. “Additionally, as we add onto the facility toward the east parking lot, it is going to architecturally require us to redesign much of the area, including our locker rooms.”