Old high school transformed into affordable housing - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Old high school transformed into affordable housing

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PAOLI, Ind. (WDRB) -- An old abandoned high school in Paoli, Indiana has been transformed into sprawling new living space, but there is still a little high school left in its character.

Inside the old Paoli High School, you will find a story in every corner. From original ceilings down to the walls and floors, the school built in 1927 has come back to life.

Rundown and empty, it was on the verge of being lost forever. Hoosier Uplands received federal money to turn it into affordable housing, but the non-profit wanted to keep the character of the high school alive.

Lockers line the hallways and alumni donated memorabilia to show off in a trophy case. When you look around, it looks and feels like a high school, until you go inside the apartments. They are energy-efficient and have lots of natural lighting, but what will now be a home to some used to be a classroom to others. "This was a teacher's supply cabinet," project manager Ray Walker pointed out, "and over here there used to be chalkboards up," he said, pointing to another wall.

There are 24 apartments throughout three floors, including one, two, and a few three bedroom spaces. They run about $400-$500 a month, and will go fast. "They said the applications have far exceeded the number of apartments available," said Walker.

The auditorium will be used for community events, and even its walls are lined with history. "We don't have documentation, but there are people who told us Larry Bird actually played in some pickup basketball on Saturday sessions."

Many of these students still live in Paoli, and will be coming to see the grand re-opening Friday. "If these walls could talk, they could tell quite a story," said Walker.

Crews got a tip from an old student at the school, who remembered making a time capsule in second grade. The crews found it, and will uncover what is inside during Friday's big reveal.

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