Fayette County

Urban League, county agency recognized for repurposing former school

P.G. Peeples, President of the Urban League of Lexington-Fayette County, showed off one the apartments his agency created in what had been an elementary school in downtown Lexington.
P.G. Peeples, President of the Urban League of Lexington-Fayette County, showed off one the apartments his agency created in what had been an elementary school in downtown Lexington. Herald-Leader

The Fayette County Local Development Company and the Urban League of Lexington-Fayette County have been recognized by the National Housing & Rehabilitation Association for their renovation of the Russell School.

The two agencies renovated part of the school building at 211 West Fifth Street, creating 27 one-bedroom apartments for senior citizens.

The apartments were once classrooms, a cafeteria and a gym. The facility also offers laundry rooms and lounges on each floor, as well as a community room and manager's office.

The project won a J. Timothy Anderson Award for Excellence in Historic Rehabilitation in the category of Best Historic Rehab Utilizing Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (Between $5 million-$10 Million).

The $6.5 million project was financed by equity generated by federal housing and historic tax credits, a federal HOME loan from the city, a HUD Section 202 loan and other sources, according to a news release.

The Urban League and the Community Action Council of Lexington bought the school, which was built in 1954, from the Fayette County public school system in 2005.

In addition to the apartments, the school building also houses a HeadStart childcare facility and neighborhood social-service center office.

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