By Robyn Martinez
Another new school year is right around the corner, and students at Frank Elementary School will be welcomed back to a brand-new building.
Frank Elementary in Guadalupe is home to approximately 540 preschool through fifth-grade students, but it’s more than just a building. Principal Martha Jacobo-Smith believes it’s a pillar of the Guadalupe community.
“We have only heard positive comments from our parents and community. The students have been eager to get into the new building since last year when they could see the progress of what they called, ‘the castle,’” Jacobo-Smith said.
The new school building, which mirrors local architecture, will continue to serve the community for many years to come. Colorful murals painted by local artists and radiating Frank Panther spirit fill the school. That, combined with the natural daylight filling each space, polished concrete floors, and unique outdoor learning spaces provide an inviting atmosphere for the next generation to come and learn.
Throughout the rebuild, students were able to take part in the process. Chasse Building Team integrated hands-on learning for students through special construction day events. Students took turns rotating through various stations to learn about elements of construction like irrigation systems, pavers, and power tools that were used to build the new school.
Jacobo-Smith states that the construction of the new school, which began in 2018, was very smooth and had no negative impact on instruction.
“Seeing our students involved in the reconstruction process was amazing,” Jacobo-Smith shared. “They had great insights into what they wanted to see and a smaller group of students worked directly with CHASSE and Hunt & Caraway Architects to create some of the more prominent features of our school. These include the parent porch, garden area, playground design, and the beloved bell tower, to name a few.”
Students, families, and community members are invited to come and see the new school at a Grand Opening Ceremony on Aug. 1.
Following Frank Elementary’s Meet Your Teacher event, the Grand Opening will start with a blessing and flag raising at 6 p.m. Attendees will enjoy a local mariachi band and dance group, and get a specialized tour of the new campus.
Frank Elementary is being rebuilt thanks to the voters who authorized Tempe Elementary’s 2016 Bond.