After years of prolonged debate over the future of its two high school campuses, the Bloomfield Hills (Mich.) district is ready to open a new facility that will serve as the district's only high school.
Bloomfield Hills High School is set to welcome about 1,650 students next week. The 372,000-square-foot campus replaces Andover and Lahser high schools. Completion of the new campus comes after years of conflict, failed bond issues, and threats of school board recall elections, all stemming from how to upgrade high school facilities in the suburban Detroit system.
In 2007, voters in the district rejected a $121 million bond proposal that would have paid for rebuilding both Andover and Lahser high schools. In 2010, with enrollment no longer justifying two separate high schools, the school board voted to close Andover and Lahser and consolidate high school students on one campus. But in November 2010, voters rejected a $74 million bond request that would have paid for building a new campus.
District patrons opposed to consolidation began a recall effort to remove school board members who supported having one high school, but the effort fell short of gathering the needed signatures.
The district finally persuaded voters to approve a bond request in 2012. The $58 million plan provided most of the funds needed to build a new facility on the Andover site named Bloomfield Hills High School.
Andover and Lahser graduated their last classes in June 2013, and while the new campus was being constructed, Bloomfield Hills High housed students in grades 10 to 12 at the Lahser site. Ninth-graders attended classes at a former elementary school campus.
Amenities at the new school include an 800-seat auditorium, a 12-lane swimming pool, a gymnasium with seating capacity for 1,700, and three large music rooms. The school's design establishes nine learning communities that create a personalized and collaborative environment for learning.