The year 2003 was a turning point for the East Baton Rouge School District. After 47 years, a federal judge signed a settlement agreement dismissing the one of the longest running desegregation lawsuits in history.
Those 47 years had taken their toll. The school district, which struggled to meet the terms of the court-ordered desegregation, spent millions of dollars in litigation costs over the period. Since the late 1970s, enrollment in the district has declined by almost 20,000 students. In the 2001-2002 school year, almost 1,900 students left the system.
The settlement agreement was cause for celebration and the opening of a new $24 million campus for Woodlawn High School gave parents, students, and teachers a good reason to be optimistic about the future. It was the first new high school to be built in the district in more than 30 years. The 186,500 square-foot building can accommodate 1,300 students on a 57-acre campus. The new school includes a multimedia computer lab, a theater, special education facilities, two gyms, and a 2,500 seat stadium and athletic complex.
Collaborating with the local school board and the city/parish of East Baton Rouge, ABMB's engineers were responsible for the site civil work on the school grounds, including design of the storm drainage, sewer, parking lots, roadways, and traffic improvements for the school as well as an athletic complex that includes football, baseball, and softball fields and a 400-meter track.