PRICES FORK (WSLS 10) - A project that has been years in the making is getting closer to its first phase of completion.
Leaders said the old Prices Fork Elementary School revitalization project is unlike anything they have taken on before, but they believe the outcome will be worth it.
The building that was once a place of learning for children in Montgomery County now has a waiting list to become home for senior citizens.
Classrooms are being converted to apartments for people 55 years of age and older. Half will be income-based pricing, and half will be market rate. Those are expected to be finished by the end of this year.
The second phase of construction will put a food center in the school's gymnasium, cafeteria and kindergarten classrooms. This will include a farm-to-table restaurant, a craft brewery and a certified kitchen to help start-up businesses. That is scheduled to open in 2019.
The total cost for this project is about $7 million. That is coming from both public and private sources.
"This is a lot about economic development, job creation," said Jennifer Wilsie, who heads up grant coordination. "The focus is really on local, food-based businesses. How can we get them up and running or how can we empower them to expand further?"
The last phase of this project will be new construction for more housing. That is expected to be finished in 2020.