New James Lawson High School on track for Fall 2023

WSMV's Joylyn Bukovac has details on a new Bellevue high school.
Published: Nov. 2, 2022 at 11:34 AM CDT
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BELLEVUE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Since 1959, Hillwood High School has educated thousands of Bellevue students, but soon they will begin a new legacy.

Hillwood High School’s class of 2023 will be the last group of students to graduate as Hilltoppers. All teachers and students will move to Bellevue’s new school, James Lawson High School.

Hilltoppers are trading in their green and white for new school colors. School leaders are preparing to announce the new school’s logo, mascot, and colors at Lawson High School’s Big Reveal event on Wednesday night.

Clif Mitchell, marketing director for Hillwood High school, says the new mascot, colors, and logo will still pay tribute to Bellevue’s name, which is French for ‘beautiful view.’

“I’ve been on hand for a lot of the marketing and branding side of things and it’s phenomenal. This facility cannot be touched. We are going to be the marquee public school in the state of Tennessee,” Mitchell said.

The facility is named after Civil Rights leader James Lawson and construction on the new campus is set to be completed by August.

The school’s 274-acre property is where Hope Park Church used to be. The property is along Highway 70 south.

Lawson High School is being built to serve 1,600 students in five career academies. This is a bigger facility than they currently need with 1,100 students, but community leaders expect more families to move to Bellevue.

Mitchell graduated from Hillwood High School and says that even though this new school is much needed, the change is bittersweet.

“This is what we call our final climb year for the Hilltoppers,” Mitchell said. “Yeah, it’s sad to see the old school go and as an alumni, after 30 years in business, I came back to raise money for arts, athletics, and academics. It’s sad to see it go but you see how aged our facility is and we have 1,100 worthy students of this beautiful facility.”

Lawson High School’s Big Reveal event is open to the public. It will be hosted by the Nashville Predators at the Ford Ice Center in Bellevue. The event is Wednesday at 6 p.m.

If you can’t attend, you can tune in live on the Topper Nation News YouTube channel.

School staff members say the Hillwood High School Annual fund will follow the students to Lawson High School. This fund helps students in need take part in artistic, athletic, and academic programs.