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What Happens to Old Jeffco School Buildings?

What Happens to Old Jeffco School Buildings?
Posted on 11/16/2017

Fruitdale School LoftsEver wonder what happens to buildings that once housed Jeffco schools? Well, here is a really cool story about the former Jeffco Fruitdale School, on 44th Avenue in Wheat Ridge. The re-use of this landmark building has created a unique, solar powered, affordable residential community full of historic and modern style – like high ceilings, chalk boards, and basketball backboards!

Jim Hartman, Manager at Hartman Ely Investments LLC shared the details with us. Originally designed by noted Denver architect Temple Buell in 1927, the Fruitdale School served the City of Wheat Ridge and Jefferson County as an elementary school and community center until it was closed in 2007. This National Register historic property had remained vacant since that time while a variety of re-development plans were investigated.

The adaptive re-use of this landmark building is a public-private partnership between Fruitdale School Partners, the City of Wheat Ridge, and the Wheat Ridge Housing Authority that has created a unique residential community of 16 affordable rental apartments.

Historic interior features such as huge operable windows, high ceilings, chalk boards, and basketball backboards from the prior school are features in the new lofts. The entire property is solar-powered and has state-of-the-art energy efficiency features to minimize operational costs, as well as to provide community education on sustainable development.

The site includes some small fruit orchards and other low-water-use edible landscaping, to emphasize the Fruitdale name and the Wheat Ridge community’s national leadership role with local food production.

Free electric vehicle charging stations are provided and parking can be shared with the adjacent Anderson Preschool, to provide additional public benefits.

Fruitdale School Lofts continues a long-term living story for Wheat Ridge and provides this historic landmark with a new purpose well-suited to the 21st century.

You can read the Denver Post story about the redevelopment for more details!

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