Is it true that there will be a brand new FHS?

Ashley Danello

For many months now, there has been rumor that the town is planning on building a new high school, which is indeed a fact. The town has collectively selected a Model School, and will soon be voting for a tax raise to help pay for the school. If the town votes to raise the taxes to help pay for the construction, then the high school will be built. But if most people vote no to a tax raise, then we obviously wouldn’t be building a new school. Many of you might not care, but others are very interested in the plans and what the new school is going to look like. Well here’s the inside scoop…

The new Model School is based off of the Whitman Hanson design. The building includes a variety of additions to the high school. For instance there will be solar panels to help generate energy, and in the end will help the town save money. Also, there will be better insulation to keep out hot and cool air. The school will be equipped with energy-sufficient lighting, which will also save money, and the economy. A lot of the modernized technology is being installed so that the high school will be “green”. As a matter of the fact, to cut down on the amount of electricity being used, the cafeteria; instead of having blinding LED lights, there will be huge skylights to provide everyone with natural light. And lucky for the people who get to attend class in the new building, they’ll have air conditioning.

Not only is the physical appearance of the school being changed, but there are huge plans to update the technology that we use to learn. Mr. Schmidt, who is head of the Visions Committee, is the man who helped think of the ideas to advance the ways students will learn. The Visions Committee is a group of people that looked into ways to update our student resources.

“Perhaps a new building, as technologically advanced as can be, will allow students to flourish far beyond what they’re doing now.”  Schmidt said with the concerns of FHS’s student’s futures in mind.  Most of us are familiar with smart boards, which will be found throughout the school. While right now, there is a small supply of them in use right now at the school.

He also told pantherbook that the board is looking into replacing the netbooks, with tablets or ipads. Part of the plan is to have plasma monitors at the end of each hallway, along with video monitoring. Even though the school already has video monitoring in use, the new school is just going to have a lot more camera’s than we have now.

Even today, the school lacks handicapped accessibility to upper wings, which is a problem for injured athletes, and actual handicapped people. Which is why each wing will have proper equipment installed to allow people that are incapable of traveling up stairs, to do so. And its not just a handicapped problem because it’s difficult for teachers to get televisions, netbook and book carts up the stairs.

There are rumors traveling around of where the new school will be built. Many have heard that it will be built on the sports fields, which is partially true. Without ruining the football field, the new building will sit in between the tennis courts and football field. You may ask, Where are the baseball fields going? Well once the new building is finished, and everyone is “moved” over, the current FHS will be torn down, and the fields will be built over the schools grave. Also, located inside the school, there will be a walking track and new locker rooms.

“Frankly, the boys and girls locker rooms are disgusting. I don’t know how you guys do it, because they’re awful. Even if you wanted to take a shower, you can’t do it right now so that will be helpful.” With that said, Mr. Schmidt does have a good point. One year, there was a rumor that, in the girls locker room, if someone were to turn on the showers, the water coming out was brown. But I can only speak for whats in the girls locker room because girls really aren’t permitted to go into the boys locker room.

The Model School is also going to update the lecture hall so that instead of having to go over to Horace Mann for our big school productions, it will be able to happen here. So then maybe when the school hosts Oskey, they’ll be able to fit more people in the hall rather than having to kick people out, or having crowds off to the side.

“In a lot of towns, the high school is one of the most noticeable things when you go to that town. And ultimately, that’s something that we want this high school to be.”  Mr. Schmidt says that with a good point because, having traveled to other sch0ols for sporting events, Franklin High School doesn’t come close to being as fancy or updated as other places.

The town has big plans for the new place, and hopefully the town votes to raise taxes for our new school. Once all plans are finalized, and everything goes as planned, the last students to graduate from the original Franklin High School will be the class of 2015. I know, lucky them.

“I don’t really know much on the new high school, but from what I’ve heard, it all sounds really nice. Even though it would be a little different, but it’d be kind of cool to shower at school after gym class instead of smelling like sweat for the rest of the day.” Freshman Grant Spinella told pantherbook.

But below is a video of what the inside of the school could potentially look like (skip the first minute of the video to get right to the school).

Whitman Hanson Model School Video