James Lawson High School


James Lawson High School

Lawson Will Open for the 2023-2024 School Year


Lawson Campus Description and Details 

Lawson High School, a replacement facility for Hillwood High School, will be on 274 acres site in Bellevue at the former Hope Park Church location. The new school facility will serve a 1,600 student body in five career academies. The building will include modern learning environments which are flexible and technology rich. The 3-story building will be sit on the site along with a new sports complex, parking, and bus access areas.

James Lawson High School logo

The design concept for this new high school draws inspiration from the history and natural beauty of its locale. Adjacent to the Harpeth River, the site was a historic crossroads of industry and commerce where rail lines and roads carried early settlers west and returned raw materials, including timber and Tennessee limestone, east to Nashville.

The school actively engages with the natural beauty of the hills, forest, river, and meadows that define the site. The serrated brick façades are informed by the natural stratification of the surrounding limestone. Sculpted by and set into the topography of the site, terraced academic levels open onto landscaped courtyards and outdoor terraces. Full-height glazing in the commons and cafeteria allow abundant natural light to energize the space while framing courtyard views and expansive vistas of the rolling site.

Drawing on the site’s history as a place of meeting and passage, the design for the school establishes a crossroads of learning, bringing together students from diverse backgrounds through the school’s five professional academies. Situated along ample corridors and open stairs, each academy’s unique focus and work is on display for all students to experience, simultaneously projecting an individual “house” identity while inviting inquisitive students to continue to explore and learn.

To mitigate environmental disruption to the rolling landscape, athletic facilities - with their large field footprints – are sited in lower, flatter zones. In addition, low impact development strategies employ natural grasses and plant typologies which emulate the natural site hydrology while rainwater is captured for toilet flushing or diverted to bioretention areas that display sustainability as a learning opportunity. The building is oriented to take advantage of solar exposure to control thermal comfort while minimizing glare.

Attending Lawson High School 

  • Students who are zoned for Lawson and are registered for school can attend Lawson.
  • Students who live outside the zone can apply to Lawson through the school options application process.
  • The school options application period for 2023-2024 is open January 23 to February 10.
    • When the application period closes, application and enrollment will depend on available seats.  

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Meet the Lawson Lightning

The video is from the event unveiling the new high school's colors, logo and mascot.