LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A vacant Louisville school will now be home to several local seniors.

A ribbon-cutting was held Thursday morning for the Jacob School Senior Apartments at Wheeler Avenue and Strader Avenue.

Originally built in the 1930s, the Jacob School sat empty since 2005 and became a place for trash, drugs and crime.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said the historic building has now been converted into 58 apartments for low-income seniors.

"If you don't know where you're going to be going home that night to lay your head down or you've been within this much of missing a rent payment, that's a lousy feeling, and you can't have a productive life If you don't have a place to live. And that's why we are focused on affordable housing," Fischer said.

The one- and two-bedroom apartments are complete with new energy efficient systems along with new windows, finishes and cabinets.

The Bywater Development Group won a $2 million grant from the city of Louisville along with historic and affordable housing tax credits to fund the $12 million project.

Historic preservation rules forced contractors not to change the footprint of the space. So apartments have been built on the stage and the open space of the gym is a giant common area -- like a huge living room -- for seniors who will call the school home.

 

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