SAN DIEGO – A Kensington landmark is getting a major renovation.
Franklin Elementary STEAM Magnet School students, alumni, community members, and San Diego Unified School District representatives grabbed shovels to pose in front of a makeshift dirt mound, as part of the district’s traditional groundbreaking celebration.
The event marked the start of the school’s highly anticipated Whole Site Modernization project, which will bring a state-of-the-art two-story classroom building, renovations and modernizations to all classrooms, and campuswide enhancements to the nearly century old site.
“Franklin has served generations of students in the Kensington and City Heights communities for 93 years and counting,” said Dr. Lamont Jackson, Superintendent of San Diego Unified. “We’re excited to bring Franklin students new facilities and technology that will enhance their educational experience, while creating new memories that will carry onto the next generation.”
“You walk onto our campus and you can see and feel the history,” said Melissa Roy-Wood, Franklin Principal. “But you also see aging buildings and a need for expanded play areas. So we are beyond ecstatic about this makeover.”
The new classroom facility will include collaborative workspaces, a staff lounge and a student food services kitchen, which is part of an expanded student dining area that will be complete with a shade canopy. Outdoor improvements include renovated kindergarten and upper-grade playgrounds with shaded play structures, a learning garden with a shade canopy, and a bioretention basin with landscaping.
Campuswide safety will be improved with a student services suite and a monitored single point of entry, modern public address/intercom system, security cameras, intrusion and fire alarm systems, and secure perimeter fencing.
“We have worked hard to bring this project to fruition, with careful planning and design meetings with the school and community,” said Kevin Beiser, Board of Education Trustee for District B. “Now, it’s time to watch as our visions are brought to life. Our students and the Kensington community deserve it.”
“We are honored and very excited to be a part of the modernization of Franklin Elementary School,” said Taal Safdie of Safdie Rabines Architects. “It has been inspiring to work with such an active and involved community to create a new vision for the campus.”
Construction is anticipated to complete in late 2024. The district is working with the school and community to integrate historical elements into the modernization.
Funding is made available through Propositions S & Z, and Measure YY, which are local school bond measures approved by San Diego voters to improve San Diego Unified schools. Read more about the project at http://fpcprojects.sandi.net.
A Leader in Me school, Franklin Elementary STEAM Magnet School offers courses in STEAM, arts, and music enrichment, while also offering extended day programs, such as the YMCA Character Builders, and SAY San Diego’s PrimeTime.
As a future “Garden-to-Cafe” school, Franklin students will be able to plant and harvest a variety of vegetables and serve them at their school site. Read more about Franklin at its website: http://franklin.sandiegounified.org.