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Franklin ISD Needs Improvements

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Franklin ISD is looking to make some changes and is hoping for community support.

"We're just full. Our facilities are full. We have new students moving in each week. We have additional personnel needs that we have, but we don't have anywhere to put them as far as classrooms and things like that." says Bret Lowry, Franklin's Superintendent.

He hopes voters will approve a bond in May's election. The money would be used for renovations to existing facilities, and the construction of a new high school.

Lowry says, "We're gonna spread the district out a little bit. With the new high school, we'll have a third cafeteria in the district which addresses cafeteria issues that we have."

Currently, the elementary school classrooms are overcrowded. The cafeteria equipped for 500 students, feeds 750. Even some high school classes are being held in the cafeteria due to lack of space.

"Renovations alone are gonna run the district about $6 million some of those have to be done now. Whether we do it with a voted debt or we do it out of the maintenance operations side of the tax rate. Those have to be addressed." says Lowry.

The current high school and elementary school need the most improvements The estimated cost to renovate the high school is about $3 million. The elementary school comes out to about $2.5 million and the middle school, which isn't in as bad of shape, needs a half million dollars of work.

"The existing middle school, which is the newest campus to the district, is gonna have additional classrooms, office space and teacher support spaces added to that campus. We can then turn that into a Pre-K to 5th grade and that will allow the district to get our youngest kids off highway 79, which is a safety issue we have." says Lowry.

Portables have been added on to all of the campuses. Lowry says, although it's a cheap way of making more room. In the long run...its more of a high maintenance issue..

The actual dollar amount of the bond will be decided at a special board meeting Wednesday night.