Hamilton Journal News

Franklin offering pre-demolition tours of junior high school

District’s 100-year-old building coming down for a new high school.

- By Ed Richter Staff Writer

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.

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.,

Junior high

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.

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.’”

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.

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.

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.

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