Plans Underway to Transform Garvey Building to Senior Center

The transformation of the 4-acre Marcus Garvey School site to a 40-unit affordable senior family living and community gathering place is underway.

Located at NE 24t6h Street and Jordan Avenue, the school building will house 20 1-2 bedroom apartments, while an additional 20 2-3 bedroom townhomes with attached garages will be constructed on the site.

Resident amenities will include a business center, renovated auditorium, fitness center, and outdoor greenspace for a park and play area.

A two-story community building will also be constructed, which will include retail space, office space, and a neighborhood gathering space.

It is anticipated that the development will also be home to ongoing community programs and courses.

After holding public meetings and receiving input from members of the neighborhood, community stakeholders and leaders, including City Councilwoman Nikki Nice (Ward 7),  State Sen. George Young (Dem., Oklahoma City), State Rep. Jason Lowe (Dem., Oklahoma City)  and Rev. Teron Gaddis (pastor of the Greater ?bethel Baptist Church).

Some of the programs under consideration include after-school programs, credit counseling, money management seminars, home ownership workshops, nutrition classes,  business-planning classes  and hands-on training sessions on topics like culinary arts and construction.

Originally planned to begin in late 2021, renovation and construction were delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic and increased material costs that turned what was a $9.1 million project into a $10.9 million project and had developers scrambling to secure additional funding.

With the assistance of the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency, the city government and Arvest Bank, funding was secured to allow the project to proceed.

Built in 1927, the school was originally named Harmony Elementary School.

Following desegregation and shifting demographics, in 1974 the building was renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School.

From 2003 until its closure in 2013, the building housed the Marcus Garvey Leadership Charter School and was named the founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, the organization that fostered Black culture, independence, education and pride among Black youth.

With the help of the Oklahoma State Historic Preservation Office, in 2019, the development team was successful in having the abandoned school building placed on the National Historic Registry and the Oklahoma State Historic Registry.

This project is a collaboration between developers One Red Oak, The Brickstone Group, Neighborhood Housing Services/Oklahoma City and the Mike D. Little Construction Co.

Developers are seeking subcontractors interested in working on the project.

Interested companies will find information about the project and the requirements for bidding at

Questions should be directed to Mike Little at [email protected].

All bids must be received by Aug. 24 to be considered.

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