Breaking Ground for the Porter Family Center for Innovation & Academics

Construction to Begin on Transformational New Facility that will Replace Johnston and Hale Halls

Ceremonial Groundbreaking for the Porter Family Center for Innovation & Academics
From Left: Scott Skidelsky, Balfour Beatty Construction; Brooke Myers, Trustee and Building Committee Member; Jeff Deery, Chairman of the Board; Kia and Manny Vivar and family; Emily and Leman Porter and family; Robot built by LHP Robotics with Vishal Shah; the Brian Tillman family; Vice Admiral Al Harms, President of LHP; Ekta Desai, SchenkelShultz Architecture; Derek Daly, Director of Upper School

On Tuesday, April 5, 2022, Lake Highland Preparatory School hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking for the new Porter Family Center for Innovation & Academics. Designed by SchenkelShultz Architecture, this transformational, four-story facility will offer 71,000 square feet of exceptional spaces for Highlanders to learn, collaborate, and create. General contractor Balfour Beatty will begin the 14-month construction process later this month, with a projected opening at the beginning of the 2023-24 school year. The Porter Family Center will replace Johnston and Hale Halls, which will continue to serve our Upper School until construction of the new building is complete.

At the groundbreaking, lead donor Leman Porter inspired guests, sharing, “Through our gift to the Elevate Highlanders campaign, we are forging in steel and stone the foundation to ensure a better America and a better future for generations to come. I ask you to take what we have started here today and be ambassadors in making our future better. Encourage others to do what you have done, to be champions of investing in our children, and to continue the legacy loaned to us.”

The Porter Family Center will expand LHP’s national reputation in STEM education and will be the campus centerpiece for collaboration, innovation, and academic achievement. The second floor Innovation Institute features a two-story makerspace surrounded by teaching labs for physics, engineering, robotics, computer science, augmented and virtual reality, and more. The Porter Family Center’s third floor is dedicated to math classrooms; the fourth floor houses English and language arts. The ground floor features a collegiate-style student center with a student union, library, student activity center, and health clinic. The ground floor will also include an administrative center for college advising, academic counseling, and administrative offices.

LHP President Al Harms expressed gratitude to those who have made early, leadership contributions to the campaign. “The Porters’ magnificent gift to name the Porter Family Center for Innovation & Academics is especially significant in today’s times. The Porters and dozens of other families generously stepped forward during a global pandemic to help us achieve a bold and exciting dream for our students. Their philanthropic decisions to invest in this vision convey their confidence in the transformational power this facility will have for our outstanding faculty and our talented, motivated, and innovative students.”

“We are profoundly grateful to the Porter family, the Tillman family, the Vivar family, and all the leadership donors we celebrated today,” VP of Advancement Susan Clayton shared. “They made this groundbreaking possible! We also know we can count on our entire Highlander family to continue what these philanthropic leaders have begun – to give generously to build a bold, innovative future for Highlanders.”

The Elevate Highlanders Campaign includes three capital projects – (1) Porter Family Center for Innovation & Academics; (2) Multisport Facility and Field Renovation at the Lake Highland Athletic Complex; and (3) The Arts District – along with growing Lake Highland’s endowment.

The Porter Family
Leman Porter
Vice Admiral Harms

We invite you to learn more about the Elevate Highlanders Campaign and how you can make an impact. Please contact a member of our Advancement team for more information, including available naming opportunities.

Porter Family Center for Innovation & Academics
Designs are subject to change

We invite you to learn more about Elevate Highlanders

Susan Clayton

Vice President of Advancement
407.206.1900 ext 3345

Nicole JeBailey


Explore the news and updates from the Elevate Highlanders Campaign.

May 31, 2023

This summer is filled with excitement and anticipation as we look forward to the opening of the Porter Family Center for Innovation & Academics in August! This 71,000-square-foot new home for innovation, collaboration, and discovery will welcome Highlanders back to campus for the start of the 2023-24 school year, marking an exciting milestone in the […]

November 4, 2022

On November 4, 2022, our Highlander family gathered for a “Topping Out” celebration, marking an important milestone in the construction of the new Porter Family Center for Innovation & Academics, when the highest structural beam is placed atop the building. At the Topping Out, Highlanders were invited to sign the beam and be part of […]

November 2, 2022

With immense gratitude, we announce a $1 million gift from Amy and Jay Jackson to the Elevate Highlanders Campaign.

April 7, 2022

On Tuesday, April 5, 2022, Lake Highland Preparatory School hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking for the new Porter Family Center for Innovation & Academics.

February 7, 2022

With excitement and gratitude, we announce a $1 million gift from Kia and Manny Vivar to the Together We Can: Elevate Highlanders Campaign.

December 1, 2021

Monumental events are rare in the life of an educational institution, but we are thrilled to announce one such event that will elevate LHP education for generations to come!

September 16, 2021

With profound gratitude, we announce a $1 million gift to Lake Highland’s Together We Can: Elevate Highlanders Campaign from the Brian Tillman family.