Ronceverte Development Corporation (RDC) has brought all of the major players together to turn the shuttered landmark Greenbrier High School into affordable housing for seniors.
A visiting consultant turned RDC President, Sally Baker, onto the idea and put RDC in contact with a Kentucky development firm called AU Associates, Inc.
RDC is working with AU Associates founder, Holly Wiedemann, and their development associate Bruce Carter. They applying for low income housing tax credits, and historic preservation funds to bring this idea to an actuality.
Baker explains that this company has successfully transformed other old school buildings into affordable housing, including a project in Randolph County, where an old building became a 16 unit apartment complex. The estimated cost of this project in Ronceverte is $3.275 million; and would include 13 one-bedroom and seven two-bedroom income restricted living units.
Currently the Lions Club owns the property and uses a separate gym facility and its associated parking lot adjacent to the main building. The Lions Club wishes to retain this part of the property: however there is a purchase option being discussed with AU Associates to obtain the main building.
Ronceverte Mayor David Smith and Baker both state that the city and RDC are very supportive of this project and say, “Members of the community are expressing how nice this would be for the community and what a mental boost it would be once completed.” Apparently, the school was to be torn down at one time and the cost of demolition prevented that from happening, and with this new idea bringing the preservation of the 1929 school back into use is something lots of folks believe “is a real good opportunity for us,” says Smith, who attended the school for six years in his youth.
If the company is successful in acquiring the funding, construction could begin early in 2015 and reach completion by the end of the year to early 2016.