New director of special projects will lead O’More campus overhaul
The Heritage Foundation of Williamson County has recruited a Vanderbilt University Medical Center fundraiser to lead the restoration and rehabilitation work on the former O’More College of Design campus in downtown Franklin.
Shannon Lapsley has joined the Heritage Foundation as director of special projects and campus planning. In that role, she will work with Foundation CEO Bari Beasley and Main Street Program Executive Director Jill Burgin, among others, to convert the O’More property into what will be called the Franklin Grove Estate & Gardens. She also will work on other special projects for the foundation.
“The campus project is the largest preservation project in the Heritage Foundation’s 52-year history,” Beasley said in a statement. “With her extensive experience in development and project management, Lapsley will be the perfect fit and boots-on-the-ground team member we need to oversee the restoration of Franklin Grove.”
Beasley and her team plan to reshape parts of the five-acre O’More property — Belmont University acquired the college last year — into a campus housing new educational programs, publicly displayed collections and private event spaces. Economic development group Williamson Inc. plans to create an innovation and entrepreneurship hub called Idea Center in the property’s Victorian mansion.
Lapsley had been director of development at VUMC since late 2014. Before that, she held similar roles with the Nashville Sounds and a Big Brothers Big Sister chapter in Florida. She is a board member at Youth Villages, a member of Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Tomorrow’s Leader Council and a volunteer at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
“I am truly excited about joining the team at the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, especially at such a momentous time,” Lapsley said. “I know how imperative this project and this role are to Franklin and the surrounding communities.”