By EMILY R. WEST
Franklin High School could receive a $9 million boost to its facilities to add more classroom space and upgraded athletic facilities.
Architects from Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood designed the plans, as they have other Williamson County Schools. After going back and forth with Superintendent Mike Looney to specify the plan, the district presented the plans for the renovations on Monday night.
“In the next five years, we are expecting about 10,000 more students,” Looney said. “I have no idea how we are going to manage all that stuff, but we are going to figure it out. The more changes we do, the slower it gets. I had intended to push this forward at the October meeting, but I feel like we should pause.”
Some of the updates to the campus will potentially involve taking part of the current Cheek Park property the county currently owns. It will also mean the acquisition of the former Columbia State Community College campus.
It’s undetermined with the FHS expansion where the Williamson County Animal Center will move, but Looney said Mayor Rogers Anderson would continue to scout a location.
Here’s what the plans call for:
- Renovating a part of the former Columbia State Community College campus to create 11 more classrooms. Price –
A new access road from the north part of the school that would connect to Aldersgate Way near Franklin First United Methodist Church. Price – $2 million
Redoing the football field to provide artificial turf. Nolensville High School was the first in the district to install it. Price – $800,000
Expanding the track from six to eight lanes to make it regulation size. Price – $600,000
Redoing the front entry of Franklin High School to better connect it to existing parking lots. Price – $1.3 million
Renovations for the remainder of the CSCC property. Looney said he wanted further direction from the Williamson County School Board about what they should do with the space before its upgrade. Price – $1.02 million
- A new 12,000-square-foot facility to handle multiple athletic teams. If constructed, no other high school in the county would have a facility like this, Looney said. Price – $1.9 million
- Improvised site circulation. Price – $800
The construction will happen in phases, Looney said. Some of it should shape up before the fall of 2017, particularly the 11 new classrooms.
The district wants to have the remainder completed by 2018.
While these upgrades don’t mean avoiding the construction of a northwest high school in the county, it does buy the school district some time. According to Looney, WCS will have to spend $500 million in construction during the next few years to sustain the 10,000 new students expected.
During the summer, the Williamson County School Board changed a policy to allow 2,200 more students to attend each high school in the district. These changes would allow for FHS to hit that maximum number.
With the community’s feedback, the board could vote as early as November on the master plan.