• History of LaGrange

    In 1903, Mesant LaGrange donated one acre for a one-room school building on Ryan Street.  By 1913, the school had become so overcrowded that he donated an additional nine acres of land on which a four-room wooden school building was constructed.  Because the School Board wanted to ensure their ownership, Mesant LaGrange agreed to accept $1,000 as a "selling price" for the land.  This wooden building was moved around on the site and remodeled several times until it was finally demolished in 1989.


    In April, 1928 the Calcasieu Parish School Board announced plans to build a new high school, which was completed in 1929 at a cost of $90,000.  Leslie Norton was appointed principal.  Only two weeks before graduation in 1931, tragedy struck when a fire believed to have been started in the chemical laboratory on the second floor caused the building to burn.  Central stations firemen went to the blaze, but they were unable to fight the flames since the school was nearly two miles south of the city limits and no fire plug connections were available.  Shortly after, the school was rebuilt exactly as it was before the fire.


    LaGrange Senior High School opened its current facility on September 07, 1954, even though construction was still in the final stages.  The freshman class was left at the old facility in what then became LaGrange Junior High School.  Mr. John J. Mims was the first principal of the new high school. By the time the school plant, including the building, stadium, and furniture, was completed, the cost was $1,203,928.  The building had a 1,000-student capacity and included thirty classrooms plus commerce and manual arts department, a home economics facility, stage room for speech activities, a workshop for LaGator (the school's first publication), science labs, a photography dark room, practice rooms for band and vocal music, a cafeteria, a 10,000 volume capacity library, and a "modern" gymnasium.  At the time, LaGrange was the only "senior" high school in the Southwest Louisiana area operated under the Calcasieu Parish school system.


    In 1970, with LaGrange's population beyond two thousand students, the School Board began planning for the construction of an additional high school in south Lake Charles, which opened in 1971.  At the end of the school year in 1973, Mr. Mims retired, and Assistant Principal Pete Crawford was named principal of LaGrange.  In 1981, Mr. Philip Perry became principal followed by principal, Jimmy D. Anderson who took the reins in 1986 and retired in 2003. Mr. Bobby Jack Thompson, held the principal-ship from 2003-2010. Following Mr. Jack, Mr. Rico Guillory served as principal from 2010-2016.  Mr. Samuel Baynes, our current principal, was named as new principal succeeding Mr. Guillory.


    Although several minor renovations have taken place on the site since its beginning in 1954, LaGrange High School underwent notable refurbishment as well as new construction with the passage of bond issues in 1990 and again in 2004.  As a result, the plant now boasts a state-of-the-art science wing and enclosed courtyard, improved athletic facilities, auditorium and administrative offices, as well as a general face lift to the interior and exterior of the building.


    In addition, LaGrange was named a Lighthouse School in 2007 ushering it into the era of High School Redesign.  In 2015-2016, LaGrange begin a new era with the LaGrange University Duel Enrollment and implemented a unique program to the parish known as the University Program.  LaGrange University (LGU) is an advanced program for high-achieving students of academic rigor which will ultimately give them the opportunity to earn multiple college credits while in a high school setting.