PRINCETON, Ind. (WEHT) — The Franklin School in Princeton located near Main Street is coming down to make room for growth developments for The Arc Southwest Indiana chapter.

The North Gibson School Corporation donated the school and the space to Arc, and the disability rights organizations has decided to make “plans for growth,” according to local Director of Marketing and Development Melissa Walden.

The building served as a home base for many students since its completion in 1922, including Darla Simmons who says she is saddened by the demolition.

She says joining her friends on the playground is among the warmest memories she has at Franklin.

“You would always thought it would always be here. I mean, and it has for years,” Simmons said. “My grandmother came here. My dad went here, and all three of us girls went here.”

Simmons’s mother — Judy Robb — says she has good memories of taking her children to school.

“I loved it. It was handy. They didn’t have to take a bus, and I didn’t have to drive them,” Robb said. “I could walk over here if they needed anything. I loved it.”

The building had also been used as a Gibson County government annex.

The county leased the building from the school district, but the lease was dropped earlier in 2023.

Superintendent Dr. Eric Goggins says it had been around five years since any work was conducted in the space.

Under the upcoming Arc leadership, Walden says the organization’s plans will support people with disabilities and have them live as they would like.