The Hunt School Village
The Henry A. Hunt Elementary School was an east Macon fixture for nearly 50 years until it closed down in 2003. Today, this once abandoned school is undergoing an $8.5 million transformation into 60 multifamily, affordable housing units for seniors 62 and older.
Named after noted African American educator Henry A. Hunt, Hunt School Village maintains the historic link between Hunt’s legacy and the east Macon elementary school to this redevelopment. As a high-visibility project, efforts have been made to preserve and restore this key landmark in order to reinforce the connections between the current project and the east Macon community.
The Hunt School Village is made possible by the cooperation of the Macon Housing Authority, Georgia Department of Community Affairs and federal Community Development Block Grant funds. Macon Housing Authority’s non-profit development arm, In-Fill Housing, Inc. awarded Stafford Builders the project in June 2015. After value engineering the project to make it more cost effective, Stafford was able to mobilize quickly and begin the initial phase of the project.
This development calls for the renovation of the existing administration building and the construction of two additional three-story apartment buildings containing 30 units each. These affordable senior apartments will be constructed to house a diverse group of elderly residents, including those with special needs. The entire complex will be brought into compliance with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs accessibility requirements.
The plan calls for the former administration building to be rehabilitated and converted into offices and community space for the residents, and will include meeting rooms, a kitchen, a fitness center, and a computer center. This fits into the housing authority’s tradition of preserving and reusing landmark buildings.
In addition, all of the improvements (renovation and new construction) will be completed within the EarthCraft Multifamily certification program. This certification underscores Stafford’s commitment to sustainable and environmentally sound building practices.
Currently, Stafford is simultaneously in the midst of abatement, demolition, and construction. They are removing hazardous materials from the classroom buildings slated for demolition, demolishing the interior of the administration building, and pouring the slab for the first housing unit. While still in the initial phase of construction, Stafford is on schedule to complete the redevelopment by January 2017.
Once a significant source of blight in the neighborhood, the newly redeveloped Hunt School Village will continue to honor Henry A. Hunt’s legacy, the east Macon children who attended the school, and will serve the needs of low-income seniors in east Macon for the next generation.