Make your home page

Indiana family turning 109-year-old school into a house

Indiana family converting 100+ year old school into house

FRANKLIN, Ind. (WISH) — Stacie Grissom and her husband Sean Wilson are doing something out of the ordinary in their journey to owning their forever home. The two decided to purchase a 109-year-old school in Franklin, Indiana, and convert it into a large home.

Union Joint Graded School Number 9 has seen many uses outside of its original purpose over the years. After being a school for about 20 years, it became a barn, and then it was turned into two apartments.

Grissom said she always knew she wanted a unique home, so when she and her husband decided to move their family back to Indiana from the East Coast, they knew converting a school to a home was a project that interested them.

“It just so happened it went for sale. It went for sale right when we were looking for houses, and we just got lucky,” said Grissom.

The house will end up being about 4500 square feet, and will have four bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, an office, a large kitchen, and a living room. Eventually, the basement will become an apartment for family and storage, bringing it to 9000 square feet.

“One of the things that has made it a little easier cognitively is thinking ‘What would fit well in a school that was built at the turn of the century?’ So that helps you consolidate a lot of the design choices,” Grissom said.

While the house may not look like it is nearing completion, Grissom said she hopes to be living in it by the end of winter 2024. She and her husband have been working on it since purchasing the home back in August 2021. The house needed a new roof, work on the foundation, all new windows, new electrical, and plumbing. Now, the home needs insulation, drywall, plaster repairs, floors, a kitchen, and two-and-a-half bathrooms.

“I think it will be nice to have more space,” Grissom said. “One to entertain friends from the East Coast and to entertain giant family. Just have parties and friends and kids and lots of people in and out of the house.”

Grissom said one of the most important parts of the project is preserving the integrity of the home as a 1914 school. She is restoring the original doors and sourcing fixtures that match the home’s age.

“I get a lot of comments on social media like, ‘Wouldn’t it have been easier to tear it down and start over?’ and yeah it probably would have been easier and cheaper to do that, but I don’t like wasting things, and it would have been sad to see this building get torn down,” said Grissom.

Grissom is documenting the journey on Instagram and TikTok on the page ‘School House Homestead.’