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Development of Miller School Project

Press Release 9/3/2015

Development of the Miller School-Fairmont, WV

Miller School

Fairmont/Morgantown Housing Authority & Augusta Development Corporation

The Fairmont/Morgantown Housing Authority (FMHA) and Augusta Development Corporation (ADC) thru it's partnership with Miller School Associates is announcing today that they have been awarded approximately 6.2 million dollars of Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the West Virginia Housing Development Fund.  The funds will be paired with historic tax credits to adapt and reuse the Miller Junior High School Buildings at 2 Pennsylvania Avenue in Fairmont into affordable housing for seniors.

The project, which has been in development for several years, will include 26 two bedroom and 22 one bedroom units.  In 2013, with the cooperation of the Marion County Board of Education, the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the Sadd Brothers of Charleston, WV.  The building is approximately 72,000 square feet and includes a gymnasium and an auditorium, both of which will be adapted into apartments in accordance to standards set forth by the National Park Service and the Department of Interior.

Miller School Associates is made up of co-developers FMHA, Sadd Brothers and Apartment Housing Group.  Sadd Brothers is the lead co-developer.  "We are very excited to be a part of this project.  We have been working on it for several years.  Things really turned the corner when we teamed up with FMHA and ADC.  The executive director of FMHA, John Martys and the ADC board saw the possibilities from the outset and have been great to work with.  The awarding of these credits from the West Virginia Housing Development Fund is a major milestone," said Steve Sadd "We cannot say enough about the City of Fairmont and the Marion County Board of Education as well.  Superintendent, Gary Price and the BOE placed a lot of trust in us and their patience over the last two years was vital to getting this project to this point.  They kept the faith.  We also would like to thank Sandra Scaffidi and the Fairmont Historic Review Commission for recognizing that this is a historically significant building.  It was destined for the wrecking ball.  It would have cost taxpayers several hundred dollars to take down.  It's a great building and it should be saved.  There is a tremendous need for affordable housing thru out the state and for seniors in the Fairmont area in particular.  It truly is a very good fit.  The best way to adapt and reuse Miller is to use this funding model."

The former school building, on a 3.74 acre site, was originally constructed in 1910 & 1927.  Marion County Schools closed it in 2008 and has remained empty since.  "The Board of Education is very excited to learn that the former Miller Junior High School building, which served the Fairmont community will as a superior school, will now get a second lease on life to serve the citizens of Marion County by providing quality, affordable housing and upgrade the community infrastructure rather than deteriorating into a vacant, empty building," said Superintendent, Gary L. Price.  Each unit will include energy efficient appliances, hardwood floors, central air conditioning and heating, window blinds, washer and dryers and ceiling fans.  Community amenities will include a community room, a fitness/exercise room, secured entrances, an elevator, computer center, and local on-site management which will be provided by the FMHA Management, Inc.  Senior services provided to the tenants will include:  computer classes; community center referrals; diabetes and blood pressure screenings; and transportation coordination.  "The Housing Authority and Augusta Development Corporation is excited to be part of the development team, be the eventual owner and the manager of the property. As the senior population in West Virginia and the Fairmont area continues to grow, providing quality affordable housing is very important.  Serving the housing needs for the elderly is part of FMHA's core mission." Said John Martys, it's executive director.  "And to be able to develop an historically significant building so close to the city center is important as well.  Re-purposing buildings like Miller are critical in the revitalization of downtown Fairmont that all of us in this community having been working towards.  We too would like to thank the city and the board of education for their support and guidance."

Any vendors/contractors interested in knowing more about the development of this project:  be it planning; pre-construction and construction may contact Chris Sadd at ctsadd@gmail.com or Steve Sadd at Sadd@Bluegrass.net.