Giving Day is
December 3, 2019
Frankfort Gives
Giving Day is
December 3, 2019
Giving Day is
December 03, 2019

Frankfort Development Trust (Grade School Restoration Project)

Specific Need

The building has suffered from exposure to the elements in recent years, but an engineer's report revealed that the structure is still sound.  The focus over the past few years has been driven by a need to halt water infiltration and seal the envelope of the building from the elements.  While the main culprit was a badly deteriorated roof, there are other areas that need attention so the focus can shift to the interior.  Current priorities are:

  • The side entries and approximately 100 original windows.
  • Gutter systems to further move moisture away from the structure.
  • The exterior masonry.
  • Completion of soffit and corbel repairs.
  • Minor asbestos abatement (climate control ductwork) before the focus moves to the interior.
  • Inside an upper level hallway beam will need to be replaced.
  • Updates to interior systems will have to occur in order for the building to meet current day needs. 

Mission

To preserve the past, protect the present, and plan for the future.

Profile

     The Historic Frankfort School was erected in 1902-03 for $20,000. The two-story structure is built in the neoclassical style with a full partially above grade basement and usable attic. It is the only representation of this style of architecture in the surrounding counties. The building faces southeast at a 45-degree angle to the street. The walls are constructed of brown brick and limestone blocks laid in uniform horizontal coursing and exhibiting large windows.

     Outstanding features of the building include the alternating width limestone quoins at the corners, and limestone outlining the roof eaves, doors, and windows. Arches over the top floor windows include tapered stones with a larger centered keystone. The upper story Palladian windows are the most outstanding features. The porticos, located on the southwest and northeast sides of the building, allow additional access to the building beyond the spacious front porch entry. The doors are lined on each side with the same ionic capital columns and corbels as the front porch. A massive ribbon of rough-hewn limestone steps leads to the front porch entry. With a total of 100 windows, significant natural daylight and ventilation are achieved in all rooms, a critical feature in the early 1900's.

     The school was in use until the end of the 1997-98 school year.  It was then sold by the school district to a private party and used as a private residence for a number of years.  Through a succession of owners the building deteriorated and was left open to the elements and vandals.  The roof began to deteriorate rapidly.   Frankfort City officials began communicating with the owner to address the state of the building.  

     The owner put the school up for sale on E-bay in 2013.  The listing caught the attention of former students and community members who decided to contact the owner.  In the fall of 2013 concerned citizens began meeting to see if something could be done to save the building from being razed.  After several meetings and negotiations with the owner, the Frankfort Development Trust was formed and ownership of the property was deeded to the trust.    

     The trust board is a group of unpaid volunteers who work selflessly, along with a number of commuinity volunteers, to guide the renovation/restoration process.  The goal is to provide for a self-sustaining building that serves the community for years to come.  The group holds on-going fundraisers including breakfasts, golf tournaments, entertainment events, as well as seeking grants, and using state tax credits to support the project.

     A community survey was completed early in the process to help determine the best use of the building.   This survey revealed a great need for housing.  Hence, the intended future use will likely include housing for the senior population, community space, and possibly light retail, professional, and/or office space to support the buildings tenant's and community needs.  The introduction of needed daycare options could also support a multi-generational meshing of tenants in the building.

     It is also the intent of the board to support commemorating the history of the building and community in dedicated space.  This commemoration may include the WWII Frankfort Boys, as well as the Whiteway Hwy (K9) which linked Denver and Chicago in 1914. 

      

     

Photos & Videos

2018 view of completed roof and front porch projects
2018 view of completed roof and front porch projects
Roof work in progress.
Roof work in progress.
Front porch work in progress.
Front porch work in progress.
Board anniversary meeting on the porch - September 2017.
Board anniversary meeting on the porch - September 2017.
Annual chili cook off and feed fundraiser.
Annual chili cook off and feed fundraiser.
Water color postcard
Water color postcard
Historical society image with original bell tower.
Historical society image with original bell tower.

Contact

P.O. Box 82
Frankfort KS 66427
Phone: (913) 651-6081

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