Saturday, September 29, 2007

Phoenix's Franklin Police & Fire High School set to open Sept. 30

[Source: Betty Reid, Arizona Republic] -- The Franklin Police and Fire High School is set to open Monday, September 30. It will be the first stand-alone education facility in the Valley that delivers instruction to students interested in public-safety careers, district officials said. The school at 1645 W. McDowell Road will have 160 students, all juniors and seniors. Eventually it will have four years of high school.

Phoenix Union High School District bought the old Franklin School from Phoenix Elementary School District for $10,000 but put more than $6 million into restoration of the facility. It had been closed for decades. Firefighters often used the building for training. The school was scheduled to open in August but restoration of the building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, took longer than expected.

Approval to clean Franklin's dull red brick, for example, came from a historical expert. A special cleaning solution that preserved the color was required to clean the walls, said Marty Hoeffel, a Phoenix Union principal turned-construction consultant. He is relieved the work is completed. "It's been an incredible challenge to take a 1926 building and fully restore it," Hoeffel said. But it is worth it to preserve some of Phoenix's history, according to Hoeffel. [Photo source: Michael Schennum, Arizona Republic.]