Two years of renovation are done, and Franklin High is opening; the students seem to love the changes

DAVID MAYNE - Franklin High students gathered on the morning of August 14 to begin registration for the fall term in FHS new Student Commons. For two years, the students of Franklin High School have had to traipse out east of S.E. 82nd Avenue of Roses for their education – to the Marshall High School campus – while their century-old high school underwent an upgrade and full facelift. Now, the remodel is done, and the school reopened for registration on Monday, August 14, with classes scheduled to resume by the end of August.

On the 14th, THE BEE visited the campus, now once again abuzz with students, beheld the final touches, and spoke with a few of the students at registration.

ERIC NORBERG - This new track on the north side of the school has been rotated 90 degrees and expanded to full regulation size, making it at last appropriate for track meets. The new gym, about which many Franklin High students are enthusiastic, is visible at right, and the field beyond the track is the as-yet unfinished softball and baseball field. Thats Ben Franklin himself, towering above the athletic field. One was Lucy Shadburn, who is a senior this year. She attended the old Franklin High in her Freshman year, spent two years at Marshall, and now is coming home to FHS for her senior year. She told us she loves the new Franklin, commenting that the school had been "falling apart". She's glad the remodel held on to so much of the historic feeling of the previous campus, while adding light and space and modernizing the whole school.

As for Marshall High – which now will be hosting Grant students while their school undergoes the same sort of upgrade – Lucy said "it was not as nice as the old Franklin High, but it was okay for the time we were there."

ERIC NORBERG - Jeremy London, a junior at Franklin High this fall, was unrestrained in his enthusiasm for the renovated and updated campus, and posed at an arch that represented one of the many historic touches retained, in the redesign of the century-old high school. Jeremy London is a junior this year, so he never went to school in the old Franklin, but he finds the new Franklin "amazing – coming from Marshall to this is crazy – this is miles better!" In particular, he likes the new gymnasium a lot, and he shares Lucy's enthusiasm for the retention of many historical details in the new Franklin High.

The morning that THE BEE was there, the campus was awash in enthusiastic, happy, and courteous students, who seemed more than ready to start making the much shorter trip to their new campus.

Two special events are scheduled to celebrate the opening of the modernized Franklin: Franklin's Grand Opening Ceremony is on Saturday, September 2nd, at 10:45 a.m.; the night before, on Friday, September 1, another ceremony will celebrate the opening of Franklin's new Track and Field. (Eric Norberg contributed to this story.)

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