McLean High School was originally built in the 1950’s. Over the years several additions were built, expanding the facility to over 253,000 square feet. After more than 20 years without major improvements, the school desperately needed to be brought up to current standards in education and technology, as well as to update the look of the tired assembly of buildings.
Helbing Lipp Recny Architects developed a three-phase design that could occur over a six year period, to allow funding over two separate bonding cycles. Over the three phases, every space in the complex was renovated. A new traditionally-styled main entrance with a hip roof and cupola was developed to give new identity to the school. Four other additions were created, an infill space between two classroom wings that added a black box performance space, a new gymnastic s space, a 21-classroom wing that added needed capacity, and finally a 5000 square foot addition to their existing library. The project was organized to be constructed in part with the students in the building with the major work being done in the summer months.