After sitting dormant for years, the Alexander IV school on Ridge Avenue will once again will be filled with laughter and stories, only this time, the people inside won't be students, they'll be seniors living in newly-converted apartments.
The hallways are empty and the books are gone inside the school, but the bones of the building are still there.
“It will give it, as we say, an "upcycling," it is going to be beautiful,” Susan Cable said.
She’s one of many who came to see the design developers have in mind for the historic school.
“It’s going to be a place where people who’ve lived in this community are going to want to come and live in this building at the senior years of their lives,” Cable said.
Dover Development out of Knoxville plans to give the school a new life and a new mission.
“You probably won’t see any changes (to the exterior), except we'll restore things back to their original,” Rick Dover said. “On the interior, we'll keep all the existing hallways everything stays. If you think about a school, you've got a wide central corridor and have a classroom loaded on either side. Those classrooms make great apartments.”
The designs show 61 apartments in total and the construction of a new wing on the back side of the existing building. Dover, the General Manager with Dover Development, expects the project to be done in about 2 years.
“Old buildings, they take longer and they cost more -- that's just what it is,” Dover said. “In the end, the idea is to get it right and make it a place that is truly a source of pride.”
These plans will be presented to the Planning and Zoning board next Monday.