The building most recently known as Eaton Middle School will be under going a transformation in coming years, now that its purchase by a local non-profit was approved at the Monday, Dec. 9, meeting of the Eaton Community Schools Board of Education.
The Home Is The (H.I.T.) Foundation, the local not-for-profit organization that addresses the affordable housing needs of Preble County, came to an agreement with the Eaton School Board and purchased the vacant former Eaton High School (and later Middle School) located at 307 North Cherry Street in downtown Eaton.
The 1920s-era school building sits unused in a primarily residential area near the center of Eaton’s downtown. H.I.T. has developed plans to re-purpose the building into a mixed-use facility with an expected 44 affordable and market rate units as well as commercial and office space. It is estimated to be an $8 million project to be completed by the end of 2015.
The ECS BOE accepted the sale price of $140,000 and approved the selling of the property in a unanimous vote during the Dec. 9 meeting. The sale is expected to close in January.
“In 2012, we co-led a process to develop a consolidated plan that identified Preble County’s unmet affordable housing needs,” said Bill Hutton, executive director of the H.I.T. Foundation. “As an organization, we are excited to present a strategy to address some of these unmet housing needs, as well as help preserve and bring vitality to an empty building in our city center for community use.”
To support this development, H.I.T. has teamed with general contractor and developer Miller-Valentine Residential Development (MVG,) and co-developer St. Mary’s Development Corporation, in addition to leadership from Preble County Mental Health and Recovery Board and the Preble County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
H.I.T. is leading the project and development team.
For more than 10 years, H.I.T. has been Preble County’s trusted housing advocate in addressing all aspects of affordable housing needs, according to officials. Since 2011, H.I.T has brought more than $2.1 million in assistance to Preble County to aid residents and the community.
The H.I.T. Foundation will be holding public information sessions in the old Eaton High School auditorium Jan.15, 2014 at 3 p.m. and Jan. 30, 2014 at 6 p.m. to share their vision for the project with residents as well as seek community feedback and input on the use of the cafeteria and auditorium. To learn more about the H.I.T. Foundation and this development, visit HITFoundation.org.