Bells will be ringing at the long-anticipated James Lawson High School for the first time this month.
The ~$124 million Bellevue project, which has been almost nine years in the making, will replace the over 60-year-old Hillwood High School. We toured the 307,000-sqft facility at the community open house over the weekend — here’s what it looked like from our POV.
Rev. James Lawson, the school’s namesake, is an activist known for helping organize Nashville’s sit-ins movement and his work to desegregate the city. The school song also pays homage to Lawson’s time spent as a pastor.
By the numbers, James Lawson will host 150 staff members and up to 1,600 students, plus, houses a 500-seat theater, a 1,600-seat gymnasium, and six courtyard spaces.
- Sustainability: Geothermal heating and cooling system, 75Kw solar panels on the roof, as well as 11,600 sqft of “green roof” with natural grasses and plants
- Sports: In addition to the main gym and a weight room boasting ~12 squat racks, there is a separate auxiliary gym for volleyball and wrestling, as well as a dance studio. Outdoors, you’ll see football, soccer, baseball, softball, and practice fields.
- Hands-on experiences: Health sciences mock ambulance and patient care beds, culinary kitchen, audio visual lab
- Arts: In the same wing that houses the band and choir rooms, there are multiple private music practice rooms.
What’s to come for Hillwood High
The 30-acre campus will become a space for professional learning and other training. The fields and recreational areas will be utilized across Metro Nashville Public Schools. Additionally, the school could also be used as a relocation facility as other Metro schools receive updates.