First Ward School Apartments
  • Elkins, West Virginia
  • 27,000 SQ. FT.
  • Architectural, Engineering and Interior Design Services
  • Project Cost: $3,000,000
  • Completed 2013

With the recent success of, Riverview at Clendenin School, Omni Associates – Architects was again chosen by developer AU Associates to bring the Elkins First Ward School restoration and adaptive reuse project to fruition. With the help of AU, the project received funding from the West Virginia Housing and Development Fund in the fall of 2011. Ground broke in August 2012 to begin the renovation for 16 affordable one- and two-bedroom apartments. The exterior was completely restored to its early 1900s Georgian-Revival style, and many of the key interior features reminiscent of the school days have been retained and preserved. The building was opened to tenants in July 2013.

First Ward served as a school until 1976, when it was converted into a warehouse for the county school board. Fortunately, changes were minor, but little maintenance had been done since. The board transferred the vacant and deteriorated building to a local civic group (C-HOPE), which obtained a grant to repair the roof and stabilize the structure with a deadline to rehabilitate the building for community use within five years. Funding sources for the project included equity generated by federal housing and federal and state historic tax credits (syndicated by Community Affordable Housing Equity Corporation), general partner equity, and a first mortgage from C-HOPE.

Preservation Alliance of West Virginia Historic Preservation Award—2013

National Housing & Rehabilitation Association  J. Timothy Anderson Award for Excellence in Historic Rehabilitation—2013



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