Central School, Amherst, OH
Historic Tax Credit Consultant
Building Area: 56,402 SF
Total Project Cost: $9,913,610
Federal Historic Tax Credit; $1,677,771
Ohio Historic Tax Credit: $1,497,000
Built in 1907 with a 1922 addition, individually listed in the National Register, and finally saved from multiple demolition threats over 30 years of vacancy, Central School was converted to a senior assisted living facility with 40 residential units housed in the three-story building. Many residents were students in the building, some for all of their primary and high school education.
The rehabilitation included roof replacement, masonry restoration, reinstating masonry window openings, new aluminum windows that visually replicate the historic windows, restoration and replication of historic exterior doors, and restoration of the skylights. The project also included adding a new ADA entrance and lobby, an elevator to make the building completely accessible, and a below grade ramp outside the kitchen for deliveries. A one-story, rear connector was added to link Central School to another assisted living facility on an adjacent parcel. The residents of that facility now have access to the amenities and services housed in the former school.
On the interior, the adaptive reuse located the residential units and support spaces in the former classrooms behind the original corridor walls, which feature terrazzo floors and connecting staircases. The gymnasium, which is a two-story volume of space with an historic upper-level walking track and a stage, was preserved by converting the space to dining and amenity space for the residents. Resident amenities also include a salon, medical clinic and soda shop. The open space of the former library was maintained for additional entertainment and activities. The missing and broken patterned glass in interior windows throughout the building was replaced in kind.
The 1907 at Central School was selected to receive the 2021 Outstanding Rehabilitation Award from the Cleveland Restoration Society and AIA Cleveland.