Legacy of Educational Excellence (LEE) High School Transformation

Pfluger Architects transformed the historic LEE High School campus in San Antonio by demolishing, renovating, and constructing new facilities over a decade, blending rich history with modern design elements.

  • area / size 441,067 sqft
  • Completed 2021
  • Legacy of Educational Excellence (LEE) High School is one of the oldest and smallest campuses in San Antonio’s North East ISD. The 1950s-era construction on 27.2 acres is home to not one, but four distinctive schools: LEE High School, North East School of the Arts, the STEM Academy and the International School of the Americas.

    What started as a new lobby for the campus’s gym became a partnership between Pfluger and NEISD that would span a dozen years and counting. Together they updated the entire campus, despite the challenges of a landlocked site with limited space for new buildings, by demolishing, renovating and constructing new facilities. It was like a decade-long, 3-D chess match creating adjacencies and finding ways to adaptively reuse and repurpose spaces, all while considering the emotional attachment to iconic spaces on campus that hold special significance for the school’s alumni.

    The existing library was converted into a multi-functional space open for school and community use, a JROTC addition was designed, and significant new construction created modern facilities for academics, athletics and fine arts. Because of limited space for the new athletics complex, the locker rooms had to be moved as well as the tennis courts. The tennis courts were placed on the roof of the new complex, and the former locker room area became a high-intensity practice field now used by the band, football and soccer teams—a net sum gain.

    Pfluger renovated and added square footage for Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes, including culinary arts, cosmetology, engineering, architecture, robotics, health sciences, business/marketing and family consumer sciences. Following this addition and renovation project, they added a performing arts center and fine arts addition for North East School of the Arts and LEE High School.

    Respecting iconic campus features cherished by alumni, the transformation successfully blended LEE’s rich history with modern functionality. Former students still recognize the bones of their alma mater, now elevated with innovative design elements that support current teaching methods.

    Design: Pfluger Architects
    Design Team: Robyn Popa, Lindsey Milligan, Rafael Bedolla, Jazmine Byrom, Anthony Plascencia
    Photography: Pfluger Architects, Brian Mihealsick