Make it Right Foundation will Assist Conversion of Bancroft School Into Affordable Apartments

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor Make It Right Foundation, founded by Hollywood actor Brad Pitt, together with BNIM Architects from New Orleans, will help out in the renovation of the long-closed Bancroft School into affordable apartments and a community center, The Kansas City Star reports. Plans call for the conversion of the 103-year-old brick school [...]

Make It Right Foundation, founded by Hollywood actor Brad Pitt, together with BNIM Architects from New Orleans, will help out in the renovation of the long-closed Bancroft School into affordable apartments and a community center, The Kansas City Star reports.

Plans call for the conversion of the 103-year-old brick school building into 29 affordable apartments. The redevelopment will feature a 6,250-square-foot community center on the main floor and an additional building with 21 apartments will also be built.

The $14 million project will be built to LEED Platinum environmental standards, becoming the first major project constructed in the Green Impact Zone, which was designed and financed with the aid of U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver.

Make It Right Foundation partnered with several firms, including BNIM, in 2007 to create affordable housing designs that could be constructed in the Lower 9th Ward neighborhood of New Orleans, which was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. The joint effort has resulted in approximately 150 new homes so far.

The Bancroft project is just the second project of the foundation outside New Orleans and the first renovation done by the team.

The two-story Bancroft school building, closed 12 years ago, is one of 38 closed buildings in the Kansas City School District; 26 were shut down just two years ago in a major downsizing.

The funding of the project will be ensured by state low-income housing tax credits, federal historic tax credits, state charitable contribution tax credits and a $2.3 million contribution from the Make It Right Foundation. The financing will be assisted by U.S. Bank Community Development Corp.

The site will house the office of the Manheim Neighborhood Association and will also offer space for outreach programs offered by Truman Medical Center. The historic auditorium will also be renovated and a 50-unit secure garage will be added to the mix. Rents are expected to range from $470 a month for one-bedroom apartments to $695 for a three-bedroom.

Photo Credits: www.makeitrightnola.org