Construction of New $15 Million Gymnasium Underway at McLaughlin
New Facility Will Serve School's Expansion to Middle/High School
Last updated 6/23/2023 at 1:04pm
The conversion of the former McLaughlin Academy of Excellence, a middle school, into McLaughlin Middle/High School is moving ahead with the construction of a new gymnasium, the first of several new facilities that will be added to the school's 38-acre campus in coming months and years.
The new gymnasium will serve the full line-up of athletics anticipated for the McLaughlin Phoenix teams.
The 28,300 square-foot gymnasium will host a variety of athletic programs, including basketball, volleyball, weightlifting and wrestling. The Polk School Board previously entered into a joint-use agreement with the City of Lake Wales, which will allow use of the facilities for other public events.
Ground was broken for the $15 million project in December, but start of construction was delayed until recent weeks. Now crews from the Williams Company are working to prepare the site for the vertical construction to follow.
Plans for the campus include a number of new facilities, including converting an existing running-track into a sports stadium.
The decision to add a high school to the campus was only reached by the Polk School Board in June of 2022, and implemented immediately.
This past school year the school welcomed the first freshman class. McLaughlin will continue adding a new grade each year until 2025.