BEDFORD — Hoosier Uplands CEO David Miller learned Thursday the organization has been awarded funding for the rehabilitation of the old Stalker School.
Funding for the project is via the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program. Approximately $4.3 million is available through that source, plus an additional $250,000 from the HOME program, the largest federal block grant available to state and local governments. It was designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households.
“We will be applying for additional funding for the project from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis,” Miller explained. “We will hear about that in September.
“The great cooperation from the city of Bedford and some initial funding from the Lawrence County Economic Growth Council and the Lawrence County Community Foundation certainly helped this become a reality,” Miller said.
Hoosier Uplands plans to renovate the building into 21 two-bedroom apartments while retaining the historic nature of the structure.
“This will be a jewel to the neighborhood and one the entire community can be proud of,” Miller predicted.
The Bedford City Council voted 7-0 in October to endorse the project. Bedford Plan Director Dan Kirk noted the structure at the corner of Eighth and O streets is of sentimental value to many local citizens but was beginning to crumble and would require demolition within the next two years.
Hoosier Uplands will manage the apartments, which will feature energy-efficient heat and central air, washer/dryer hook-up, refrigerator, range, microwave, dishwasher and disposal. The complex also will include a computer center, community room and fitness center.
Rental fees should range from $235-$490 per month, depending on income status. The average rent is estimated at $396.
“We are very excited about this opportunity,” Bedford Mayor Shawna Girgis said. “We are looking forward to partnering with Hoosier Uplands to make this happen. This is definitely a feather in our cap.”
Gene McCracken, executive director of the Lawrence County Economic Growth Council, also expressed excitement about the funding.
“We’re going to see great things happen,” he said. “This will create opportunities for the whole neighborhood.
“We visited Paoli to see a project Hoosier Uplands has undertaken down there. It is beautiful, and David Miller is working with our community to do this right.”
Miller said Hoosier Uplands is interested in contributions of memorabilia, pictures or other historical items of significance relating to Stalker’s rich heritage.