The Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County has taken ownership of the so-called "old, old jail" on Bridge Street in downtown Franklin and plans to spend $1.5 million to renovate the roughly 70-year-old structure. The foundation's purchase was made with the help of FirstBank officials, who are also preparing to open a branch in the Five Points building where the foundation had been based.
“Our goal is to have gained the necessary regulatory approvals and to have the construction documents prepared by the end of the year. We’d like to begin the restoration project as soon as funds are raised,” said Heritage Foundation President Cyril Stewart. “The environmental studies have been conducted, and there were no significant implications for the site. Inside, our first objective is lead paint and mold abatement.”
Claiming that the survival of O'More College of Design is in question, a group of faculty members two months ago sent a letter to the Franklin school's board of directors outlining a series of complaints regarding the actions of President Mark Hilliard. But that hasn't resulted in any action, writes Richel Albright at Franklin Home Page.
Several supporting documents obtained by Franklin Home Page claim that Hilliard has not accurately reported financial figures to the board and has spent money from the school’s budget “researching” themes for parties and fundraising events on the campus which often see no return in funds.
The Del Webb division of homebuilding giant Pulte is running into some serious resistance to its plans to build a 400-acre, 775-home project on Del Rio Pike north of Franklin. Pulte execs already have retreated a bit from their original plans for the property they have under contract, but even the county's mayor has some clear words for the company.
“I think Del Webb is a very fine company, but I think what they’re proposing there, that’s not the character in what is around that area, and it’s certainly not in the character in what’s in Franklin,” Anderson said. “I think they’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Some preservationists are kicking up a fuss about plans by developer Bob Parks to build 20 houses on Old Hillsboro Road near Natchez Trace. They say the homes will disturb the view from the Trace but the site is zoned appropriately for the project. Sky Arnold at Fox 17 has the details on the construction plans, which go before the Williamson County Planning Commission tonight.