The new Franklin Elementary School held its open house on Thursday, in anticipation of the first day of school on Monday, August 31.

The $10 million dollar school was made possible by the 2014 passage of the $158 million bond issue, which also funded the new Lowell Elementary School, as well as significant remodeling projects at other MCPS schools.

Communications Director Hatton Littman was a happy woman as she sat with KGVO News in the newly designed school office.

"Franklin School was built in 1916, so it's over 100 years old," Littman said. "The only thing that remains from the original building is the gymnasium (which sports a new wood floor and a sharp new logo).The entrance is on a different street, and when you walk into the front door we have a newly designed entryway that's safe and secure, but also bright and welcoming."

The new school is built to house nearly 500 students, although Littman said school will start on Monday with about 300.

Also celebrating an open house was the new Lowell School, said Littman.

"Lowell Elementary is also a 100 year-old building and the main part of that historic building was preserved on the outside, but inside, you'd never know you were in the same building," she said. Gone are the ADA challenges that plagued the old school.

"Lowell also added square footage, so they were just about able to double their capacity, as well. In the old school, you had to enter through the back door of the gym for disabled students, but now we have amazing ramps that are embedded into the staircases as well as elevators. Both properties just look stunning, and I think Missoulians will be proud of their new schools."

The first day of school will be Monday, August 31.

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