Our view
| Abilene reporter news

While much emphasis has been placed on the revitalization of the inner city in recent years, particularly efforts to build a convention-style hotel and rebirth of the area south of the inner city, we see dust rising elsewhere within the city limits.

Of course, the southwest and northeast of Abilene remain hotspots. But with recent construction at the Taylor County Expo Center, the construction of a new Texas State Technical College site near the airport, and the Abilene ISD’s now nascent career and technology center next door, the area has been very busy.

Housing is still the biggest driver, be it single-family or multi-family houses. The newer apartment buildings are being equipped with amenities that make this style of living more attractive.

Construction is starting in the Wylie area, now on both the east and west sides of US Highway 83/84, south of Tuscola.

The growth of the Wylie area will continue to challenge the Wylie ISD which appears to be on an ongoing plan to build or add. It took Wylie years to get the second highest enrollment rating in the state, and you’re wondering if it will take that long to reach 6A.

Or, given that Abilene was once run by a high school prior to its post-WWII growth spurt, would the Wylie District build another high school to support the smaller school many in the area prefer? That conversation would probably stir up as much dust as the idea of ​​merging Abilene and Cooper’s high schools in the past.

The announcement that Great Lakes Cheese will bring more than 500 well-paying jobs to Abilene when it opens in 2022, and the expectation of the B-21 bomber landing as early as 2025, will fuel the housing market that has been going crazy locally for lately months. It’s a good time to sell; You may even get more than you hoped for.

The other side of the coin is finding your next home.

Another good news in Abilene is the increase in infill projects – those within the traffic loop that circles the city.

A pile of bricks that was once the Matera Paper Company became the Sockdolager Brewing Company, and the three-story school on South First Street will be revived as Abilene Heritage Square by 2023. This is going to be the new home of the central library, and we hope someone already thinks about how cool it would be to move into today’s downtown 1960 building that was never to be our main library for so long.

A former Kmart store became the new home of the Abilene Police Department.

With this type of Abilene doing business, it’s easy to see why no one wants a COVID-19 resurgence to slow the train down or worse, throw it off the rails. We lost business to the pandemic, but Abilene largely survived. Projects that were delayed were resumed despite a shortage of materials.

The new Dyess Elementary School will open in a few weeks, completing an AISD run to modernize campuses that are over 60 years old.

If you’ve been to the Abilene Christian University area recently, you could see through the Moody Coliseum, which is undergoing its first renovation since it opened in the late 1960s. And a new dormitory is currently being built on campus. The ACU campus has changed dramatically in the past few years, including the construction of a football stadium on campus.

In return, the area around the campus is growing with retail, banking and residential construction projects.

In this boom, it becomes more important to address our roads which, despite efforts to fight the worst, remain terrible in places. The city council made good on a new survey of our streets last week. Just a few years ago we were told that it would take more than $ 300 million to solve our problems.

Growth is a good problem. We hardly want to consider the alternative.

Hopefully the light stays green.

► Read our mid-year construction update by Laura Gutschke on the front page of Sunday.