Ewan Elementary to be sold

The old Julia R. Ewan Elementary School, which the Fayette County Board of Education has declared surplus property, will be sold at public auction on April 23.

The 70,000-square-foot building at 350 Henry Clay Boulevard, along with 4.6 acres of grounds, will be up for bid starting at 10:30 a.m.

Interested parties can inspect the property on April 9 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., and on April 16 between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Appointments for inspections at other times can be made by calling broker James Shrader at (859) 288-5008.

The property will be auctioned as is. Prospective bidders will be asked to register and provide a $10,000 certified check along with a bank letter of reference to be returned to the bidder after the sale.

Those are the basic facts of the auction. But they don't begin to tell the full story of the school that generations of Lexingtonians attended.

It began as the Kenwick Elementary School in 1909, the year that William Howard Taft became the nation's 27th president. The school's name was changed in 1963 to honor Julia R. Ewan, who had been principal for 39 years. She died in 1992 at age 99, but the school named for her continued to serve Lexington's children until closing last May.

Lexington's Janis Gilbert has a special reason for remembering the school: She got a spanking from Julia R. Ewan herself, though she says she probably deserved it.

"I think it was in first grade, about 1959," Gilbert said. "I went to that school, my father went to that school and my daughter went there, too. It just breaks my heart that it's up for sale."

Gilbert says she hopes the building's new owners will covert it into condominiums or some other use that will allow it to be preserved.

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