The historic Adams Township School will soon be the heart of a neighborhood revitalization effort near downtown Sheridan. Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development (HAND), Inc. and the owner of the school entered into an agreement for HAND to purchase the school to preserve the historic building while creating housing opportunities for Sheridan residents. The redevelopment project is being called “Blackhawk Commons.”
(Rendering of the new east facade: public gymnasium entrance)
Adams Township Schools sold the property in 2010 and an effort to convert the facility into a convention center ran into financial difficulty last year. “The owner had a great vision for the school property, and I believe the entire community hoped he’d succeed,” said Nate Lichti, Executive Director. “We are grateful to have this opportunity to preserve the historic property and to restore the school back to being a vital community asset.”
The plan is to save the gym for public use, and to maintain the existing floorplan as much as possible. HAND aims to create 30 apartments that will be affordable to individuals and families living and working in the community. HAND has an excellent record of providing high quality multifamily housing in Sheridan with its development, ownership, and management of Spicewood Gardens. It maintains a waiting list of approximately 200 people there and hopes to fill some of that housing demand with Blackhawk Commons.
“As alumni share fond memories of the school, and sincere desire to help out, we’re excited to see this restoration take shape,” reports Lichti. “The Historic Society has all the school photographs dating back to 1936, so we share their dream of displaying these again in their natural home. Construction won’t begin for 12 months, so we anticipate Sheridan residents really taking ownership of this development.”
It is crucial that redevelopment of the former Adams School occur as soon as possible. The building is vacant and in disrepair. The longer it remains vacant, the more likely that even more damage will occur. HAND is making a presentation to the Town Council to explain its proposal for Blackhawk Commons on Thursday, September 10th at 7pm. No action by the Town Council is being requested at this public meeting.
A second public presentation will be made on Wednesday, September 30th at 5pm, immediately before a Leadership Training HAND is offering at the Sheridan Library. Individuals are invited to stay for dinner and a discussion on ways to renew Sheridan as part of this two session leadership workshop. The second session will be on 10/1 at 6pm. Pre-registration for the leadership workshop is required because dinner is also provided.
(West Entrance: Entrance bricked over during prior renovation)
HAND invests in neighborhoods, provides housing solutions, and builds partnerships to improve the lives and build community in Hamilton County. Follow HAND on Facebook, visit www.handincorporated.org or call 317-674-8108 for more information.