Thanks to LPS voters, the process of replacing aging facilities with state-of-the-art schools that will serve students and the community for future generations is underway! In three years, a new elementary school serving the Highland and Franklin communities will open!

The new elementary school will be built on the current Franklin Elementary Campus. Franklin Elementary School will be replaced with playgrounds, playing fields and parking to serve the new school and neighborhood. The new school will provide appropriate space for small and large group instruction, creativity and innovation.

Many students who are currently bussed to Highland and Franklin from the southeast corner of the district (Ames neighborhood) will attend the new elementary school being built in their own neighborhood. Therefore, this new elementary school serving the Highland and Franklin communities will be the optimum size and will provide more opportunities for programming and flexibility, while functioning as a true neighborhood school.

Plans currently are to build the new elementary school on the Franklin campus while school is in session in the current Franklin Elementary School. That could change as enrollment fluctuates with the opening of the new elementary school at Ames. The goal is to build the very best schools possible to serve communities for the next 60+ years.

After the new elementary school opens, Highland Elementary School will become an early childhood education center.

Designing and building a modern, student-centered elementary school takes time and thoughtful input from staff, parents, students and the community. It is complex work and takes lots of planning. The community will experience some shuffling as programs move within the district in anticipation of new construction. More importantly, the process will be exciting and energizing as staff members, students, parents and community members from Highland and Franklin come together to shape their new school’s look, feel and culture.

Throughout it all, students and teachers will be fully engaged in learning within a safe, comfortable environment.

Drone Flyover March 9, 2021

Architect's Fly-Through of the New Franklin/Highland Campus

Preliminary Drawings/Concept for New Elementary School

Preliminary drawings/concept for new elementary school

Preliminary drawings/concept for new elementary school

New, Temporary Wing at Highland

Highland temporary wing in place July 25, 2019
The new, temporary wing at Highland is in place! Photo taken July 25, 2019.

Highland temporary wing aerial view 9 3 2019
New pavement and finishing touches are being added to the Highland project. Photo taken Sept. 3, 2019.

The detached, temporary wing at Highland includes 10 classrooms, restrooms for students and staff, a teacher workroom and storage. It meets or exceeds all district operational guidelines, safety and security standards, and is ADA compliant. Additional parking has been added, and a new sidewalk was added to provide access from Highland to the new wing. Each classroom has the same features as classrooms inside the school:

  • Doors and locks
  • Mass notification/intercom systems, phones
  • Wireless connectivity, projectors, etc.
  • Fire alarms

The temporary wing has an HVAC system that will provide air conditioning during warmer months and heat during cooler months. The temperature controls are centrally managed in conjunction with all other district properties.

Classrooms in the new, temporary wing look and feel much like the classrooms inside the school. 

Highland temporary wing interior hallway 8 19 Highland temporary wing classroom 8 19
Highland temporary wing classroom 8 19

November 2018 - January 2019

  • Select architect and engineering firms for the new elementary school that will serve the Highland and Franklin communities on the current Franklin campus. 
  • Survey the Franklin property
  • Survey Highland Elementary School for conversion to a district early childhood education center

January 2019 - Summer 2019

  • Prepare Highland campus to serve The Village Preschool at Ames beginning August 2019
  • South Suburban Parks and Recreation is in the design phase for a new pool and related amenities at the existing Franklin Pool site.  Additional details will be available in summer, 2019.
  • Begin design process of new elementary school

Summer 2021-Summer 2022

  • Construction of new elementary school

Summer of 2022

  • Demolition of old facility
  • Construction of parking lots, fields and playgrounds

Projected Grand Opening: Fall of 2022!