(KMOV) – The troubled Wells-Goodfellow area in west St. Louis is showing strong signs of making a remarkable recovery – the area is where a gunman killed St. Louis police officer Norvell Brown in 2007.
The area has been littered with criminals and prostitutes who took over an abandoned school. But a $34 million project designed to restore the neighborhood is looking to turn the 22nd Ward around.
Other community building efforts include a new $8 million sanctuary erected by the Friendly Temple church – one of the largest churches in the area.
Now, the old Arlington Elementary School is getting a facelift. It’s been abandoned for 17 years.
Crews will turn the old school into 21 loft style apartments. Workers will also build 112 mixed use buildings – there are already new homes up just across the street.
For years, residents called and complained about those who were slipping in and out of the vacant building. Some even pushed Alderman Jeffery Boyd to tear the building down.
“I resisted to tear it down,” he says. “For many years I had hope and inspirations that we could rehab this school.”
Now it seems like that will happen. Money for the project has been approved and crews will break ground on Friday, November 8. The project will wrap up in fall 2011.