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Nonprofit wants to repurpose Lincoln Middle School into community space

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ABILENE, Texas - A nonprofit in Abilene wants to repurpose a vacant historic building in Abilene and bring it back to life. The vacant building on South 1 st street was once known as Abilene High School and then Lincoln Middle School. Abilene Heritage Square wants to turn the historic building into a community space. Former council woman Laura Moore said the vacant building can be used for meetings, family gatherings, weddings, and would even include a library and exhibit hall. Moore said there are endless opportunities for the building. They ' d name it Abilene Heritage Square, keeping the same initials as Abilene High School. "We see Abilene Heritage Square as an opportunity to serve as an anchor on the south side for all the work being done downtown, " Moore said. " We also see it as a point of revitalization. We see the opportunity to breathe new life into those buildings. " Since they are still in the planning stages, Moore does not know how much this project would cost. Moore said they are talking with a law firm that specializes in tax credits and they're also looking into grants, especially those for historic renovations. Abilene City Council members gave their support to the idea. Also on the agenda at Thursday ' s city council meeting, the city chose an architectural firm, Tim Rice McClarty, to remodel the old Kmart that will soon be the new Abilene Law Enforcement Center. Design work could begin as soon as September. Abilene City Council also awarded an Air Service Development contract to a consultant to help try and bring in another carrier at Abilene Regional Airport. Abilene City Secretary Danette Dunlap also retired after serving the city of Abilene for 10 years. During the city council meeting, she was recognized by the Mayor Anthony Williams and for her work with the city .

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