Groundbreaking Ceremony Kicks Off Redevelopment of Historic Clendenin School Building Clendenin, WV.

It has been a long time coming, but construction on the redevelopment of the historic Clendenin Middle School has finally begun.  In celebration, 25045 A New Clendenin, Inc. and AU Associates of Lexington, Kentucky hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the $5 million project on September 27.   Known as Riverview at Clendenin School, the project will include 18 units of senior housing and a new expansion of Cabin Creek Health Care Clinic.  Construction is expected to be complete in twelve months.

“After several years of working to establish the highest and best use of the former Clendenin Middle School and arranging the necessary financing, it is great to see this dynamic project start construction, said Jack Suttle, President of 25045, A New Clendenin, the local nonprofit group working to revitalize the community.  “We are excited as we unite with AU to develop this property as the center piece for Clendenin which will serve the citizens of the area for many years.”

The school was originally donated to the community by the Kanawha County Board of Education.  Redevelopment is being funded by a combination of federal and state funds and historic tax credits, includes $1.2 million from USDA Rural Development, $2.7 million from the State of West Virginia’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program, $400,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and $1 million in state and federal historic tax credits.  Construction financing is being provided by Poca Valley Bank.

When complete, Riverview at Clendenin School will bring much needed affordable housing to the area for independent seniors who want to age gracefully in place. Apartments will boast a complete set of amenities including: secure entry into the building with buzz-in capability; help/call buttons in each bathroom and bedroom; furnished community room; laundry room on-site; built in microwaves; paddle fans; wiring for cable, telephone, and high speed internet access; and individual climate control.  All units are also equipped with energy saving appliances and other “green” technology.

The expansion of Cabin Creek Health Care’s clinic into this building will greatly improve access to a variety of health care services in the region. The clinic will be expanding its presence in Clendenin by doubling its size causing employment to increase from 11 to 24 including medical staff of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and a fulltime behavior health consultant and pharmacy staff. It is anticipated that with facility expansion and expanded services the clinic will nearly double the number of people it currently serves.

“AU Associates is thrilled to be working to save one of the most endangered schools in West Virginia” said Holly Wiedemann, President of AU Associates, the development company spearheading the project. “ We are excited that this building will undergo a rebirth in its new use as an important medical clinic and will also serve as affordable housing for elderly.  The combined use of several funding sources, including stimulus funds, is a ground breaking combination that not only creates jobs as well as affordable housing, but also achieves the goals set forth in neighborhood revitalization.  It is a symbiotic use that is a win- win for the community of Clendenin, and the State of West Virginia. “

The event was also attended by Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito who noted that “Early on, I recognized the importance of the Clendenin school building as a community icon, so I pledged my support to join other members of our community in an effort to rebuild and redevelop the facility.  I am enormously impressed by the success of this project.  It was truly a collaborative effort and well worth the time, effort and money.”