School Information



    L. Frances Smith Elementary

    4505 Waycross Drive

    Columbus, IN 47203


    Architect: John M. Johansen, 1969


    Hours of Operation

    Office Hours: 8:00am-4:00pm


    About Our School

    Our motto: Choose, Try, Grow, Achieve...How will you serve? The choice is yours!

    Number of students at our school: 464

    School Colors: Blue & Yellow

    Mascot: Sonics


    About L. Frances Smith Elementary

    John M. Johansen designed this innovative school in 1969, featuring brightly painted steel ramps or “gerbil tubes” connecting the multi-levels of the reinforced concrete and bronze-tone corrugated steel structure. His son, Christen Johansen, designed the expansion and renovation in 1997.

    Mid-Century Modern Architectural Pioneer John M Johansen FAIA has been creating award-winning, controversial architecture for over 70 years. Last of the famed “Harvard Five” and widely recognized as one of America’s most innovative modern architects, Johansen has continually drawn upon his inquisitive mind, passionate drive, and integrative sense of design – always utilizing cutting edge materials and technologies – to produce extraordinary architecture. Now in his 95th year, Johansen is creating designs for the future when a “new species of architecture” – nanoarchitecture – will emerge.

    Johansen studied architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design under Walter Gropius and, in fact, married Gropius’ daughter. Johansen became associated with other modernists from the school, such as Marcel Breuer, Philip Johnson, and Eliot Noyes.