NOAH at Work on Adaptive Reuse in Massachusetts

Work is under way by Neighborhood of Affordable Housing on Sitkowski School Apartments in Webster, Mass.

By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor

Webster, Mass.—Work is under way by Neighborhood of Affordable Housing Inc. (NOAH) on Sitkowski School Apartments in Webster, Mass., which is in the central part of the state, near the border with Connecticut. Earlier this year, the nonprofit developer broke ground on the project, which will offer 66 units of affordable housing for adults over 55.

The community will include 59 one-bedroom units and seven two-bedroom units. Common amenities include lounges on each floor and a central laundry, and the property’s community/senior center will include a multi-purpose room with kitchen, a reading room, conference room and offices, an art space, an exercise room and a salon.

Eight units will target residents earning less than 30 percent of area median income (AMI) using project-based Section 8 vouchers. Five units will be for residents earning less than 50 percent of AMI, with the remaining 53 units affordable to those earning less than 60 percent of AMI.

The Sitkowski School Apartments is an adaptive reuse project at the site of a decommissioned school. Built in the early 1900s and expanded in 1920, the three- and four-story brick building is located adjacent to the Webster Town Hall and Webster Public Library. The building served as both a high school and middle school, but has been vacant since 2005.

Historic elements of the structure, such as the original oak woodwork, are being preserved where feasible, and the slender original wood floors are being repaired and restored. All exterior features will be maintained or enhanced, and the project will add new parking areas, landscaping and streetscape improvements.

The Sitkowski School Apartments will be registered for the LEED for Homes (Midrise) Program and seek a LEED Silver Certification. Neighborhood of Affordable Housing recently tapped WinnCompanies, one of the largest multifamily managers in the country, to manage the property once it’s complete.

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