First Ward School Saved
By: Johan Graham, AU Associates
First Ward School Apartments is the historic, adaptive re-use of the First Ward School on South Davis Avenue in Elkins, WV. Listed on the 2009 West Virginia Endangered Properties List, this re-birth into sixteen affordable apartments for seniors was a collective effort. Saved from the wrecking ball by C-HOPE of Randolph County, the building proved a difficult asset to re-use as it was in very poor condition.
However, when a funding window opened up for the affordable housing program, consultant Terrell Ellis [of Terrell Ellis & Associates] assembled a team that was up for the task. Owner Karen Jacobson with Highland Community Building and Developer Holly Wiedemann with AU Associates paired up to purchase the building from C-HOPE and apply for all needed funding to completely restore the building.
Funding came from various sources such as the Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit, the Federal and State Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits, and a Development Grant from the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office. The grand opening of this new facility will take place on September 24.
To see pictures of the project and view more from the Preservation Alliance newsletter, visit: http://www.pawv.org/currentnewsltr.pdf