FRANKFORT, KY—AU Associates, Inc. and the Old Jenkins School Renovation Committee are the co-recipients of the Grassroots Partner Award, a new award created this year for the 36th Annual Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation Historic Preservation Awards. The awards ceremony took place Wednesday the 29th at the Governor’s Mansion.

The awards ceremony, presented in partnership by the Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation and the Kentucky Heritage Council, takes place each May during National Historic Preservation Month. The awards are named for Kentucky’s first state historic preservation officer, the late Ida Lee Willis, wife of the late former Governor Simeon Willis.

The Grassroots Partner Award was awarded for the preservation and restoration of the old Jenkins school into the Jenkins School apartments. The award was accepted by current committee chair James Polly, John and Rosemary Shook, who founded the committee, and Johan Graham of AU Associates.

The Jenkins School is locally significant and listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the largest and finest school to be produced as part of the efforts by Consolidated Coal Company to develop Jenkins, a coal camp, in the coal rich mountains of eastern Kentucky. Jenkins School’s construction in 1912 heralded a dramatic period of coal investment in Jenkins, leading the town to be considered one of the crown jewels of coal towns. As other Jenkins buildings of this period have been lost to neglect or demolition, Jenkins School and its level of preservation remains as a touchstone to the community’s coal industry heritage.
The Old Jenkins School Renovation Committee began working to preserve the building and prevent it from being demolished in 1992. In 2012, AU Associates stepped in to repurpose the historic school into safe, affordable senior housing, which opened in February.

This beautiful architectural symbol has been repurposed as 26 beautiful affordable housing units for seniors, the Jenkins Senior Citizens justify, and the Letcher County Government Access Television Studio. Beautiful one and two bedrooms are currently available for rent. The apartments are handicap accessible with an elevator to serve all floors. They also feature central heat and air conditioning, a community laundry room, and keyless electronic entry. Contact Misty Collins, property manager, at 606-832-2222 or to schedule a tour or obtain a rental application. Income and age restrictions apply. Equal Housing Opportunity.

For more information, please contact Johan Graham at 859.233.2009.For leasing information and current move-in specials, please contact Misty Collins at 606.832.2222.