Franklin offering pre-demolition tours of junior high school built in 1921

Franklin Junior High School, which opened in 1921 as the junior high and high school building is slated for demolition late this summer to make way for a new high school facility. The district is offering final tours of the building in May and is planning virtual tours for the community to see. FILE PHOTO
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Franklin Junior High School, which opened in 1921 as the junior high and high school building is slated for demolition late this summer to make way for a new high school facility. The district is offering final tours of the building in May and is planning virtual tours for the community to see. FILE PHOTO

It’s been known as “Wildcat Country since 1921″ but sometime in August, Franklin Junior High School on East Sixth Street will be demolished to make way for a new high school facility.

Franklin City Schools is inviting community members, past students, former staff members and administrators, and the general public to tour the current Franklin Junior High School prior to its demolition.

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The building served as the high school until 1969 when a new facility was opened on East Fourth Street. As part of the district’s new facilities plan, the building on East Fourth Street will be converted in the new junior high when the new high school is completed.

Two tour dates will be available: Saturday, May 1, 4 to 6 p.m., and Saturday, May 22, 10 a.m. to noon. Visitors are invited to tour the building at their leisure and students who are members of the National Junior Honor Society will be on hand to answer questions.

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A virtual tour will be available for persons who live out of the area or who are physically unable to tour the building. More details will be released in the coming months, according to district spokeswoman Peggy Darragh-Jeromos.

“We know that community members have many fond memories of this building, and we want to provide the opportunity to say goodbye,” said Superintendent Michael Sander. “People talk about themselves, their parents, and even grandparents attending classes in this building, which we like to say has been ‘Wildcat Country since 1921.’”

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The current Franklin Junior High Building opened in 1921 as the East Building and housed both junior and senior high students. District officials said additions were made in 1932, 1948, and 1952. In 1969, the current high school opened on East Fourth Street, and students in grades 10 through 12 moved to that campus. Ninth grade classes began attending the current high school building in the fall of 1982.

This is an artist's rendering of what the new Franklin High School could look like in 2023. The new high school will be constructed where the current junior high is located on East Sixth Street.  CONTRIBUTED/FRANKLIN CITY SCHOOLS
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This is an artist's rendering of what the new Franklin High School could look like in 2023. The new high school will be constructed where the current junior high is located on East Sixth Street. CONTRIBUTED/FRANKLIN CITY SCHOOLS

The current junior high building is slated for demolition sometime after Aug. 1 as part of the total rebuild of Franklin’s buildings, thanks to a bond issue passed by district voters in November 2020.

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District officials said the groundbreaking for a new high school will be this fall, with a tentative opening date in Fall 2023. The new high school will be built where the current junior high and Hampton Bennett buildings are located. Junior high students will be housed in mobile classrooms on the current Franklin High School campus while construction is underway.

For more information, call (937) 746-1699.