Garfield's back

Plans to convert the historic former Garfield Elementary School into residential housing stalled for more than a year but are back on the table.

Plans to transform the former Garfield Elementary School into a housing development are back, Interim City Manager Jane Foltz told the Abilene City Commission at its regular meeting Monday.

Josh and Andy Gilmore, owners of Gilmore and Associates, a real estate company based in Hesston, had planned to turn the former school into a housing development last summer.

That project was delayed.

The two-story brick building is listed with the National Register of Historic Places. Garfield Elementary School was dedicated in April 1942, constructed with the assistance of the Federal Works Agency.

“We have heard from that group,” Foltz said. “It sounds like they are back on board. They are working on getting their financing. They are trying to move forward.”

14th Street and Buckeye

Foltz reported that the intersection is now open for all lanes. The eastbound portion of 14th Street now has a turning lane.

“We have some landscaping we need to do and some traffic signal programing,” Foltz said of the project.

She said some of the sidewalks will have to be repaved as they did not meet American with Disabilities Act standards.

Bond refinancing

The city commission approved on a 4-0 vote a charter ordinance to refinance general obligation bonds.

“The interest rate is low right now,” Finance Director Marcus Rothchild told the commission in a study session last week.

The rate is 1.75 percent with a savings of $160,000.

“This is a substantial savings to the city and the length of time remains the same,” Foltz said of the bonds.

The charter ordinance is subject to a protest petition within 60 days.

Contact Tim Horan at

Contact Tim Horan at

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