Today Jubilee Community Development Corporation (JCDC) announced the purchase of the Eliot School building in North St. Louis. The school was constructed in 1898 and named after Charles W. Eliot, who served as President of Harvard University for 1869-1909. He was also the cousin of the famous American poet TS Eliot.
The school was active in North St. Louis for 78 years and was considered a center for elementary education and cultural activities. St. Louis Public School District closed the school in 2004 and has remained vacant for the past 18 years. The 51,000 square foot building lay dormant and unattended in North St. Louis, yet it has important potential for the community.
Andy Krumsieg, Director of JCDC, said, “It has been ignored for nearly twenty years, but it has good bones!” Mr. Krumsieg explained that the foundation, flooring, and major structural walls are in good condition and will be part of the renovation project.
Dr. Bryan Moore, CEO of JCDC, explained the vision for the former elementary school. “In the past this building served our community as a source of education. We will transform it into the Jubilee Wellness Center to serve the urgent and desperate needs we now face. Drug addiction, especially to fentanyl, and homelessness has ravaged this area of North St. Louis.” The project will contain a mix of community services to address addiction recovery, fitness, and transitional living spaces for men, women, and children. Dr. Moore also announced that Assisted Recovery Centers of America (ARCA) will also have clinic space in the Center to further address drug addiction and mental illness.
Renovation of the building will begin in 2023.