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Franklin to dedicate new high school on Saturday

Mar. 1—The new $48 million Franklin High School will be formally dedicated on Saturday.

The new building, which is located at 140 E. Sixth St., will be open for public tours beginning at 2 p.m. that will be led by students and staff members.

Superintendent Michael Sander said one important feature of the new building is not yet complete, which is the main gym. Due to supply chain issues, the installation of a key piece of HVAC equipment has been delayed, resulting in pushing back the installation of the gym floor.

This week, the Board of Education approved naming the new basketball court the "Luke Kennard Court" after the Franklin alumnus and NBA player for the Memphis Grizzlies.

Because of the delay, Sander said the district will schedule a public open house later this year when the gym has been completed and visitors can see the entire building. He said athletic events won't be held in the new gym until the start of the 2024-2025 school year.

Students in grades 9-12 have been on remote learning since Feb. 20 as they will transition to the new building for classes starting Monday, March 4.

The new building features a large amount of natural light through many windows.

The building has an events/extracurricular area complete with a new gym, as well as an auxiliary/practice gym. There is also a new band room with more room for storage, a chorus room and practice rooms. The building has a training room, a weight room, physical education and team locker rooms, a health classroom, and a large lobby area complete with new trophy cases.

Another feature of the gym is that the concession stand is adjacent to the school cafeteria, which is much larger than the current cafeteria. There is also a ticket office window on the west side of the building where the athletic offices are located.

Also on that side of the building is the administration and guidance offices, a clinic, and a security vestibule. There are also offices for the school resource officer, a staff lounge and conference rooms. Sander said there are no keys, as everything opens with swipe cards

The rest of the building features two floors of classrooms that include specialized career tech, science and drama classrooms. In addition, there is a courtyard inside the building walls that can be used for outdoor performances, studying, and classes.

The building at 750 E. Fourth St. has served as the district's high school since 1969. It will be renovated and will begin service as the new junior high school.

The next phase of the district's plan is the construction of three new elementary schools which is to be paid for by the state's school building construction program.

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How to watch

The public is invited to watch a livestream of an invite-only dedication ceremony at 1 p.m. Saturday on the Franklin Wildcat Football Facebook page.