NewsMontana News


Historic school building to receive new life as real estate project

Posted at 9:15 PM, Oct 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-26 12:48:39-04


The historic Kate Fratt Memorial building has stood for over 100 years in downtown Billings.

For most of that time, it served as a school most recently as Saint Francis middle school, until 2017 when Saint Francis moved West.

The building will have new life soon for possibly the next 100.

The Fagg family purchased the Fratt Memorial building.

They aim to transform it into 13 living spaces, while maintaining its rich history.

"Well, our kids went to school here. Our goal is really to help downtown with additional housing, and also preserve this wonderful historic building," Fratt building owner Russ Fagg said.

They aim to maintain as much of the original structures, including the door and window frames, the high ceilings and broad windows.

"The maple hardwood floors. The brick, the wood, and we just think it's going to be a great addition to downtown Billings," Fagg said.

Architechts Cheryl and Michael Burke will be working with Jones Construction on the build-out and supervising transformation.

"Making sure that it's safe, that the facility is secure, that its beautiful, that it's very high end, wanting to create you know that big city feel and that are good amenities for the people that will live here," broker for the property Julie Seedhouse said.

The properties will feature a security gate, elevator, a dog park, and a community style plan.

"There will be a barbeque area, and fireplace outside as well that people can visit," Fagg said.

The condos will run from the low $200,000 to high $300,000 range. They will also offer a variety of sizes and plans.

"Right now the Billings market is so weird that we're very low inventory. We have a lot of people who need places to go and there's not much available. And then when you couple that with super low interest rates, this is such a great addition to the Billings real estate market because we're adding inventory at a time when we desperately need it," Seedhouse said.

The building has also been approved for being on the historic building registry.

"For me the biggest magical part about it is that it used to be a school, kind of romantic for all the people who went through this school or their children went through the school, turning these classrooms where all these hundreds of kids went through and turning them into living spaces I think is really cool," Seedhouse said.

There are mock-up renderings and textile samples on the premises.

"I just love being able to preserve it. God willing it will be here 100 years from now and people will be enjoying this building," Fagg said.

The condos will be finished and ready for owners in May of 2021. You can tour them now, by contacting Julie Seedhouse at 406-690-2711 or Shelby Williams at 406-998-9446.