The Fayette County (Ky.) district has opened the $82 million Frederick Douglass High School in Lexington.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that students and community members toured the new facility over the weekend after a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“We knew we wanted to build a school that would carry us into the future and support next-generation learning,” School Board Chairwoman Melissa Bacon said at the ceremony. “This incredible brick-and-mortar building stands as a testament to what is possible when our community comes together for the good of our students.”
The 350,000-square-foot campus will have capacity for 1,800 students. It is the sixth high school in Fayette County. Douglass will share part of the building with Carter G. Woodson Academy, which had been housed at Crawford Middle School. The academy is a traditional college preparatory program that serves male students in grades six to 12.
Students at Douglass will be organized into academies, Principal Lester Diaz says. All ninth-grade students will transition into high school by entering a freshman academy. Then, before the end of their freshman year, students will enter one of three career-themed academies: health sciences, professional services or technology.
The new high school has been named to evoke memories of the area's old Frederick Douglass High School, which served black children who lived in Fayette County outside the Lexington city limits during the segregation era. The high school closed in 1963.
“Our recent reunion theme was ‘A New Beginning with an Old Spirit,’” says Robert Robinson, Class of 1954 and president of the Douglass Alumni Association. “We, the alumni, pledge our support and are anxious to see its vision become a reality."