A run-down old Knoxville school will soon see new life as an assisted living facility.
According to Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, the plans to develop Oakwood Elementary School into a private senior living facility were finalized Monday, and work will begin soon.
The building, located at 232 E. Churchwell Avenue, has been a concern for residents in the Oakwood community and others in North Knoxville for quite some time.
Knox County acquired the property from Knox County Schools last year and issued a request for proposal (RFP) to see if someone could develop it for private use. After one failed proposal, a deal with Family Pride Corporation worked out.
In April, Family Pride said they would divide the building into 58 units and a dining facility, complete with a commercial grade kitchen.
"This is great news for the Oakwood community, and I know many of the neighbors in the area are excited to see this historic property revitalized by the private sector," Mayor Burchett said. "This has not been easy, but it looks like our work will pay off in the form additional tax revenue, increased property values and safety around this development."
"We are thrilled that Knox County is partnering with a private sector developer to preserve this iconic neighborhood structure and put it back into productive use," Knox Heritage Executive Director Kim Trent said. "We think this is a model to move problematic government-owned properties back on to the tax rolls."
Initial work on the site will begin in the next few days, and a formal groundbreaking is planned for mid-September.