By Jessica Borders
Times West Virginian
The Housing Development Corp. is checking items off its list for the proposed project to rehabilitate the old Miller Junior High School in Fairmont.
This private nonprofit corporation, based in Huntington, is interested in taking over the building to create affordable housing for the elderly there.
The Housing Development Corp. develops and maintains affordable and handicap-accessible housing. It primarily does projects in Huntington but has also done work in Wayne, Mason, Kanawha and Jackson counties. The organization has adapted a lot of older schools into housing units for seniors or families.
“What’s happening in West Virginia as in other states, baby boomers are aging and that’s one of our highest populations in the country,” said Bill Dotson, president of the Housing Development Corp. and also executive director of the Housing Authority in Huntington. “We’re going to need more decent, affordable housing for our seniors.”
He said the proposed $7.6 million Fairmont project will include developing 48 one- and two-bedroom units. It will also involve creating a lot of open spaces, wide hallways and community areas in the building.
“We’re going to take the existing facility and do a complete rehab on it,” Dotson said.
Through the end of this year, the organization has an option with the Marion County Board of Education to acquire ownership of the property.