Old Mandan Junior High School Set for Renovation | VideoJoel Porter | 11/19/2012
"We really have an opportunity to make some really cool, unique apartments that you won`t see other places in Bismarck-Mandan," Yegen Development Corp. president Jordan Schuetzle said.
Yegen Development Corporation is converting the old school, which was built and added onto over the last 95 years, into 62 apartments for low income families.
"People that become more challenged are those that are on fixed income or just a low or moderate income household. So Mandan`s feeling the crunch. They can certainly use this housing," Mike Anderson said. Anderson is the executive director of the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency.
The agency has provided conditional funding for the $6.5 million school project, but developers are still a bit short of their goal.
"We`ve had some great support by local leaders, businesses, even individuals contributing to the Housing Incentive Fund. We still have to raise about $200,000 to make the project feasible," Schuetzle said.
Yegen Development president Jordan Schuetzle says if everything goes according to plan, contractors could start swinging hammers inside the school as early as January. And he says new tenants could move in by June.
"We really want to push this as quick as possible while still maintaining, obviously, the appropriate safeguards and construction processes," Schuetzle said.
Schuetzle says refurbishing the former schoolhouse will cost about as much as building new, since contractors have to bring the property up to code. If Yegen Development can raise the remaining funding, the school, which was once a hard sell for the school district, would likely become a sought after living space.
The North Dakota Housing Finance Agency is raising money for nine projects, including the Mandan apartments. The Housing Incentive Fund still needs about $4.5 million dollars before the end of the year.