Franklin Square Elementary, new downtown Jeffersonville school takes shape

Franklin Square Elementary, new downtown Jeffersonville school takes shape

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WAVE) – After years of decision-making and battles between parts of the community, construction on Jeffersonville’s new downtown elementary school is underway and the school is starting to take shape.

In the sunshine or even with the heavy rains southern Indiana has been experiencing lately, there’s a lot to do to transform the space into a new school.

Crews touch up concrete poured overnight, smoothing out the floor. Greater Clark Facilities Director Chad Schenck said inside, they’ve been renovating and gutting this building, known as building A.

“And then, building B will be the connector building that’s going to have a couple special-education classrooms, our cafeteria, our kitchen, our MEP mechincal electrical plumbing hub,” Schenck said.

“We feel good about where we’re at,” Greater Clark County Schools Superintendent Mark Laughner said. “Even with all the bad weather, they’re staying on track for that date, (we) feel good about the construction. They’re working on the shell of the building now and we’re starting to see the result of that work, which is really nice.”

The school will combine students from Maple and Spring Hill elementary schools. The $15-million facility is the first new school the district has built in more than 10 years.

“It’ll be a neighborhood school for our students and be a very significant building for this community downtown,” Laughner said.

In just about a month, they’ll begin putting in the new classrooms. Along Court Avenue, you’ll be able to see the new facade as the building takes shape in the coming weeks.

Stonemasons work to match the appearance of the 1937 brick carefully. They’re trying to keep the history here alive while inside, giving the school a fun, new feel.

“And then we have one of the unique pieces of this project, we have the student slide that will take you from the second story of the renovated space down into the new vestibule area as well,” Schenck said. “That’s something we’re pretty proud of.”

Construction will continue through next April when the district will take over, putting in furniture and final touches.

“By this time next summer, you know, we’ll be ready to have students coming in, having some kind of open house for the community to come in and see the finished product,” Laughner said.

That will come just in time for the first round of students to start up with classes here at Franklin Square in the fall of 2020.

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