Franklin — Franklin Public Schools Superintendent Steve Patz told the School Board last week that the second phase of the high school stadium improvement program can't be completed for next fall without donations of $1 million by Dec. 1.
The first stadium projects — permanent concession stands and bathroom facilities — were nearing completion at presstime. The $1.2 million for this work was paid for with district funds.
But the $1.9 million for the second phase — a new track, synthetic turf and new lights — will be paid for with private funds. Patz said efforts to raise this money began only recently.
"We're pretty excited that a lot of people are getting committed to support the project so far," he told the board.
Patz said the plan originally called for installation of at least the track and turf in time for the 2014 football season, followed by the new lights. The need to raise outside funds is hardly unique to Franklin.
"Every school district in the country realizes that you have to have donations (for) projects of this size," he said. Further plans include new bleachers, dressing and storage rooms, and a girls softball field. Those projects will require an additional $2.1 million.
Patz also gave the board an update on construction activity inside the high school. He said a new addition with classroom space and a performing arts center has been built, and the facilities will be ready next fall.
The next major step, Patz said, is temporarily relocating the high school office to what is now the gymnasium balcony. He said this is necessary to clear the way for extensive renovation of most of the building next summer. The office will be returned to its normal location shortly after the start of the 2014-15 school year.
"We're excited to have these facilities for the school district and the community," he said.
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