HENDERSON, KY (WFIE) - The plan to make the old Audubon School in Henderson senior housing has been approved.
Henderson officials say two Indiana developers have received approval from the Kentucky Housing Corporation for the $8.2 million project.
Equal Development LLC and the Olynger Corp., through a “creative combination of the reuse of a portion of the existing façade and new construction of a three-story elevator building,” will create 49 housing units (30 one-bedroom apartments and 19 two-bedroom apartments).
The total development cost will be $8,269,796, and equity generated by the sale of the housing credits will be $7,032,000
“Affordable senior housing is an area that has been identified in both our Henderson Vision Plan and The Millennial Plan for 2040 from the Sustainable Evansville Area Coalition as a need for the community,” City of Henderson Mayor Austin said. “It is exciting to see the project get funded and it will certainly be an enhancement to other projects that we have seen taking root in the East End.”
Built in 1906 and named for James John Audubon, the famous ornithologist and artist who built the first house in this area of Henderson, the school located at the corner of Clay and Letcher streets served to educate children in the residential neighborhood until 1976 when a boiler explosion caused structural damage to the building and it was closed as an institution of learning.
According to the developers, the building will recreate the feeling of the old school, including at least 1,500-square-feet of common area, with displays of treasures that “the team can afford to preserve from the history of the old school.”
“The support this development has received from the City of Henderson has been astonishing with 10 individual community businesses coming together to donate $54,500 toward this development after it was explained that the points for the strategic investment were critical in securing this housing for the community,” said Jessica Gardner, a spokesperson for the developers.
The ten community collaborators are: Bennett Memorial United Methodist Church, T&T Drugs, SunRon International, Home Oil & Gas, Golden Glaze Bakery, J&J Storage, Pittsburgh Tank & Tower, Royster Machine Shop, Palmer Oil Co. and Field & Main Bank.
“What set this project apart, specifically, and gave it the upper edge, I think, is the private sector, public government partnerships and the city’s vision,” Kentucky Housing Corporation board member Joanna Shake said.