PRINEVILLE, OR -- Prineville’s newest affordable housing development is expected to be ready for tenants by October. Housing Works Director of Real Estate Keith Wooden is excited about the Ochoco School Crossing project, "It’s one of the coolest developments I’ve ever worked on because it’s so unique and so many different pieces put together." But he admits repurposing a school built in 1947 has had its challenges, "Probably the biggest, that we’ve faced so far, would be the water/moisture content in the flooring of the school – which we didn’t anticipate – it was high and we had to seal everything up and do crazy drainage, and stuff like that, that we just didn’t anticipate."
The 29 housing units are a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments with rents starting at about $415. Wooden tells KBND News the complex includes some unique features not typically available in new construction, "We had these cool ceilings, and we had these high ceilings and sloping lines and hexagonal windows that we were able to keep." But, the property will have more than just housing, "It was a six-acre piece of property; we chopped it up into three. So, one of the unique features that’s going to be offered, as well, is we gave to the Parks and Rec Department some of the school field." So, Wooden says, it will become a truly multi-use development, "You’ve got a park, you’ve got a Head Start school, you’ve got this kind of back ‘orchard’ kind of food bank program, and then you have these affordable units. And, what’s really cool is that the gym was in immaculate condition and the Parks and Rec’s going to run a lot of the city center programming out of that gym and a stage. And so, all these amenities got kept." Two Head Start classes opened in September
, in what used to be the Ochoco Elementary cafeteria.
Between Monday and Thursday, next week, Housing Works will accept applications for the Ochoco School Crossing waiting list. For more information, or to download an application packet, click HERE
. Qualified applicants will then be entered into a lottery to determine who will get to move in once units are ready in the fall.