Construction workers are working to bring a new future to a historic Abilene building.
The old building on South First Street that went from being Abilene High School (AHS) to Lincoln Middle School will soon serve as a multipurpose community center with a library and entertainment features.
Jane Beard, the grant administrator for the Dian Graves Owen Foundation, said that the school was purposely built next to the train tracks.
“They wanted everyone who drove by or who went by on the train to see that Abilene was a community that valued education, it was really their first attempt at economic development,” said Beard.
AHS was built in 1923, but designer David Castle quickly realized they needed more room.
“He intended for the building to be E shaped, if you looked down on it from the top it was going to be an E,” said Beard.
So, they added an east building.
The original design plan included a west wing, but the Great Depression thwarted those plans. Beard says it’s their goal to follow through with the historical plans and build one, which will become a three-story library.
“It will be a library like we haven’t ever had in Abilene, because it will be more than just a place for books,” said Beard.
She says this will be a library of stuff, packed with a 3D printer and recording studio.
The foundation will also be restoring the other buildings to open up museums with exhibits you could see in a metropolitan city.
“We can’t load up all these kids and bring them to New York, but we can bring them here,” said Beard.
They’re hoping to bring new learning opportunities to students and families here in the Big Country.
To donate to the project, visit their website or their Facebook page.