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Thomas Jefferson Senior Housing Project

Photo of the attractive, free-standing sign for the Thomas Jefferson Senior Apartments, surrounded by flower beds

Photo of the back exterior of the apartment building

Photo of the school's original tin ceiling, which was preserved when the building was renovated

Photo of the attractive renovated interior of the day room at the apartment building
A photo of the stylish furnishings of the day room at the apartment building
Photo of a renovated hallway in the apartment building

The Thomas Jefferson Senior Housing Project is one of many Success Stories that have been locally nominated for recognition in celebration of CDBG's 30th Anniversary.

Success Story Details

Grantee: City of Bristol, VA
Field Office: Richmond (Region 3)
Carried Out By: Jefferson School Apartments Limited Partnership (Regency Development, Sun Trust Bank, Bristol Redevelopment & Housing Authority, City of Bristol)
Eligibility: Elderly Housing
Natl. Objective: LMI
CDBG $   100,000
Other $2,800,000
Total $2,900,000
Date Started: June 2002
Date Completed: July 2003
IDIS Activity No: 155
Grantee Contact: Donna Malone (bvacdbg@bristolva.org)
Grantee Website: City of Bristol (http://www.bristolva.org/)

Success Story Description

The Thomas Jefferson Senior Housing Project is one of which the City is very proud. Regency Development Company of Raleigh, North Carolina saw an opportunity to provide much needed elderly housing in Bristol, Virginia. Regency was able to obtain special low-income and historic tax credits and formed partnerships with SunTrust Bank, Bristol Redevelopment and Housing Authority and the City. Through these partnerships and a $100,000 CDBG allocation, the historic Thomas Jefferson School was transformed into a 31-unit elderly housing complex. This school building was built in 1892 and was then known as The Central School. In 1924, the school was enlarged and became Thomas Jefferson Elementary until the early 1980s when a boiler room fire erupted. After that time the school was used for various purposes, but was never used as a school again and only portions of the building were used at all. The building deteriorated tremendously, but not to the point its historic richness could not be preserved and once again made useful.

Thomas Jefferson Senior Housing Project fills a need identified in the City's Five-Year Plan by providing affordable elderly housing. There are 31 one- and two-bedroom units in the building. All are occupied by elderly on a fixed or limited income. Approximate renovation cost per unit was $79,000. The beautiful, spacious apartments have all the modern conveniences, but maintain the character of a by-gone era. Each apartment is furnished with all kitchen appliances, individual central heat and air, and electronically secured entry system, fire control sprinklers, and emergency call stations. The building is equipped with an elevator, ramps for easy access, and other special features for the physically challenged. The inside doors to each apartment are original and the halls are still wide and long with Jeffersonian archways and oversized windows. A portion of the auditorium balcony has been converted to an activities room where residents can enjoy potluck dinners, BINGO and other games, have Bible studies, Neighborhood Watch meetings, tenant meetings, or just visit with their friends and neighbors. The original pressed tin ceiling has been retained in this room as well as the long, pastel-tinted windows. A small on-site library has also been established. The school facade has not changed.

The Jefferson apartments are fully occupied and a similar project is being explored at another vacant school building. In addition to filling a gap in the City's housing needs, these apartments are located in the City's designated revitalization area and are within walking distance to many supportive service agencies that serve the elderly and are funded with CDBG funds. Use of this facility has made a tremendous impact in the neighborhood by providing housing, re-use of an existing facility and eliminating a blight condition.

Content Archived: April 20, 2011

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U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
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