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A school district in Tennessee holds ceremonies for two new student facilities

K-12 Schools

A school district in Tennessee holds ceremonies for two new student facilities

A new gym and performance art center were designed and built by the same firms.

By John Caulfield, Senior Editor | June 4, 2022
The new Performing Arts Center for the Franklin Special School District.
The new Performing Arts Center will serve eight schools in the Franklin Special School District. Images: Courtesy of Wold|HFR Design

Last month, the Franklin Special School District, which serves 3,200 pre-K to 8th-grade students in an area south of Nashville, held two ribbon-cutting ceremonies for a new gym and performance arts center that answer years-long needs.

The stage and orchestra of the new Performing Arts Center
The new Performing Arts Center seats nearly 500.

Designed by Wold|HFR Design (which is based in Brentwood, Tenn.) and built by Nabholz Construction, the 34,400-sf Franklin Special School District Performing Arts Center is available to the district’s eight schools, as well as for other events held by the community. It seats 490 people surrounding a thrust stage that extends into the audience on three sides, with a 120-sf proscenium.

The Legacy Gallery in the Performing Arts Center
Inside the PAC, a Legacy Gallery recalls the school district's history.

The PAC includes dressing rooms, pre-performance spaces, prop rooms, a building workshop, concession stand, and ticket booth. The facility also features a 650-sf Legacy Gallery installation that celebrates the history of the school district, which dates back to 1906. In celebration of PAC’s opening, a stone-engraved logo was revealed on the building’s façade.

According to Nabholz, the PAC, which began construction in 2020, cost $16.2 million.

The new gym for the Poplar Grove Elementary School
Poplar Grove Elementary School now has a gym it can call its own.

The same design-build team was involved in the 22,800-sf, $9.2 million gymnasium for the Poplar Grove Elementary School in Franklin, which previously had been sharing a gym with the Poplar Grove Middle School. The new facility, which seats 480, includes a full-size basketball court, two cross-court practice courts, a volleyball court, and four-square courts. The new gym also houses a concession stand, multiple locker rooms, teacher offices, and a multipurpose room that doubles as a storm shelter.

“We’re proud to celebrate another successful project with Franklin Special School District and look forward to seeing the positive impact of these new facilities on students, educators and the community,” said Stephen Griffin, AIA, Principal at Wold|HFR Design. “As a national firm with a 100-plus-year legacy in Middle Tennessee, we’re particularly proud of the projects we design in the communities where we live and work, and it’s one of the many reasons we’re delighted to be part of these projects and celebrations.” 

Interior of Poplar Grove Elementary School's new gym
A section of the interior of the Poplar Grove Elementary School gym.


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