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PHOTO: A rendition of how the exterior of the proposed Performing Arts Center would look.

By ALEXANDER WILLIS

New details on the Franklin Special School District (FSSD) Performing Arts Center were revealed Monday evening during the district’s first of three budget meetings, such as its size, cost and buildout timeline. Held at Moore Elementary School in Franklin, the FSSD school board saw representatives from HFR Design, the design firm behind the project, join the meeting to share the details on the project.

Proposed to be built adjacent to Poplar Grove Elementary School in Franklin, the Performing Arts Center would be just over 40,000 square feet in total size, feature dozens of rooms for things like prop storage, concessions and changing rooms, and feature seating for 430 guests.

Documents provided to the school board show the seating area spanning 6,606 square feet, with a stage of over 7,000 square feet. The facility would also have a 2,088 square foot lobby, make-up and changing rooms, costume and prop storage, and rehearsal rooms backstage.

HFR Design Senior Vice President Stephen Griffin estimated that the planning stages of the project would take anywhere from 6 – 8 months, and said as a rough estimate, that the buildout phase could take roughly 16 months, making the project, if approved, potentially completed and ready to use by 2021.

Griffin also had a few kind words to say of how the board had consistently conducted itself in the past and present.

“We’re very appreciative of our work we’ve done with Franklin Special School District in the past, and anything we do in the future,” Griffin said. “You guys are an incredibly good client, and this board is probably the least divisive and more child-focused board I’ve ever worked with – and I’ve worked with a lot of boards.”

Director of Schools David Snowden said funding had already been secured for the project through bonding, of which its estimated to cost $16,271,050. The board will vote on the project during its next budget meeting, which is scheduled for May 20.

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