The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Business

July 14, 2014

Housing could be in Wigwam mix

New groups looking at facility

ANDERSON – The former classrooms that were a part of the original Anderson High School may be converted into housing and the vocational education areas put to use by local artists.

Since discussions began on efforts to save the Wigwam complex, Anderson city officials indicated any effort has to include the former classrooms and vocational education area to make any proposal fiscally viable.

The Anderson Redevelopment Commission has scheduled a special meeting for Thursday to consider a resolution authorizing the commission to take ownership of the complex from Anderson Community School Corp.

“The acceptance of the building is contingent on a second party ready and willing to receive the property as a donation,” Greg Winkler, director of the Anderson Economic Development Department, said Monday. “There is more than one group of investors interested in the building.”

Winkler said one group is interested in obtaining state tax credits to provide housing in the complex and another one is interested in the use of the vocational education areas for use by artists.

“There is an opportunity for low income tax credits,” he said. “They have to apply in November and would learn if the request was accepted next March or April.”

Winkler said the hope is that several groups would come together to form a limited liability corporation to accept the Wigwam building by the Sept. 2 deadline set by the school board.

“Realistically it’s a long shot,” he said. “But I’m more optimistic than I was a week ago.”

If ownership of the Wigwam is not transferred to another entity by Sept. 2, the school board authorized the school administration to sign contracts to demolish the facility.

Stenz Corp. converted the former Central Avenue School in Anderson into senior housing in 2008.

The company has also transformed former schools in Lebanon, Lafayette and Crawfordsville into housing for senior citizens and office space.

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