While they’ve hit some road bumps, plans to convert the historic George Washington Carver School into a senior living facility are still in the works.
On Tuesday, the Fulton City Council voiced support again for the project. This support will help the company behind the project, MACO Development Co. LLC, to apply for state and federal housing-based tax credits.
Specifically, MACO plans to apply for Missouri Historic Tax Credits and Missouri Affordable Housing Tax Credits.
The city issued its support of the project last year.
Daniel Sanders, executive vice president of MACO, said the project was not funded last year through the Missouri Housing Development Commission, but he remains optimistic it will.
“We submitted a very competitive application and were strongly encouraged by MHDC staff will resubmit the application again this year,” he said. “Last year, we outscored other applications in the category we compete against due to the requirements and conditionality credits …. But in a follow-up after the awards were made with an MHDC staff, they strongly encouraged us to apply again. They said we were the most highly supported applications in the state.”
MACO is also working with the George Washington Carver Cultural Center, Sanders said.
MACO plans to renovate the existing building and work to preserve it, but it would also require some additional construction that would be attached to the existing building.
One of the main reasons is that the current building does not have space for an elevator, which would be necessary for the facility.
MACO would renovate the old school to have 33 independent senior living apartments, Sanders said. Seven will be one-bedroom apartments while the rest will be two-bedroom apartments.
“It will be all new appliance; refrigerator, dishwasher, washer and dryers,” he said. “But these are also very affordable apartments.”
Most apartments will cost around $650 to rent, which includes utilities and maintenance, although some will be priced as low as $350 for seniors on tighter income.
MACO has completed three similar projects in Missouri and one in Oklahoma, which converted historic buildings into senior living apartments.
One such project converted Lincoln Hubbard School in Sedalia into apartments. Sanders said the plan for Carver School is very similar.
The cafeteria would be converted into a common area with a communal kitchen where residents could spend time together.
Sanders said MACO would work with the local community to put together a displays for the common area that celebrate the school’s history.
“At Lincoln Hubbard, they had their alumni association meetings in our community rooms,” he said. “We encourage the local group of people that went to school there to come back.”
Sanders said the application deadline will likely be in September with funds awarded in December.
MACO would operate the facility once finished.
Michael Shine/Fulton Sun
Part of a proposed project to convert the historic George Washington Carver School into a senior living facility would include an addition to the building in order to make the second story handicap-compliant.