MOLINE, Ill. (KWQC) - A place where the youngest in Moline learned is now where some of the oldest in the area are living. Garfield Elementary is now Garfield Senior Residences. It was constructed in 1901, and in 2015 it closed down. Now it's giving seniors affordable housing, and a trip down memory lane.
Garfield Elementary is now Garfield Senior Residences
"It brings back a lot of memories," said Willy McAdams who went to school at Garfield elementary in 1934. Now, he's moving in. "It's like being at home, but there's a lot of changes."
The elementary school renovated into housing for low-income seniors, "Oh my goodness, you were always curious about what's gonna happen, what are they gonna put in there, what are they gonna do with the old school? I'm glad to see them that they used it again. A lot of memories," said McAdams.
Although he attended over 80 years ago, he still remembers his time at the school, "I remember my first day of school. I was kind of excited! I said I was gonna learn the mysteries of education- it wasn't kindergarten, it was kindygarten!" said McAdams laughing.
Now the mystery of the renovations are unveiled. The exterior of the building staying the same as well as the crown molding, doors, and some rooms even have the original chalkboards.
Those living inside love it, "for the history for the people in the neighborhood that went to school here. Let them know that this was an important part of the neighborhood and they're not forgotten," said Holly Langill, someone who lived in Moline for 60 years.
Not only is it helping keep memories alive, but the community too. Moline Mayor Stephanie Acri said, "I think any vacant property in the neighborhood is a real burden for that neighborhood. So I think the fact that this is no longer vacant and it was repurposed in such a wonderful way! It becomes an asset to the neighborhood and gives a sense of place. Garfield is an important entity here not only in the neighborhood but to the community and the fact we're able to celebrate it is a wonderful thing."
They also kept the original basketball hoop and stage, turning the room into a community area with games. They still have openings at the residence if you or someone you know is interested.