What to do with an old school building

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 14, 2007

There is good news concerning plans to renovate the old Hayden High School building in Franklin.

There is also bad news about those plans.

And the two are the same: Many ideas are being thrown out for discussion but nothing has been done to develop the property.

Hayden High was built in 1952, some 17 years before the Franklin schools integrated. For more than 20 years, it has been vacant, showing the ravages of time and the marksmanship of rock-throwers.

Some possible uses for a remodeled building include, but are not limited to, constructing 30 one- and two-bedroom apartments for senior citizens; housing for the Head Start (early childhood education) program, operated by STOP organization; a meeting place for adult education; a townhouse community to be developed adjacent to the structure; an upgrade to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center that would include a wing for the senior citizens to meet.

The city council is even considering relaxing its stance on limiting rental properties within the city limits. At least city officials are thinking big.

But there is no firm direction, and the red-brick building remains an eyesore. The city will discuss the matter more, but clearly, a consensus is not near.