DURHAM — The Durham County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Monday to approve in concept a proposal to redevelop the James A. Whitted School for senior housing and as a Durham Public Schools pre-kindergarten center.
The vote will allow Forty/AM Community Development/Marketing Communication to seek low-income-housing and historic-redevelopment tax credits to rehabilitate the asbestos-infested building that has sat unused for seven years.
About 32,000 square feet of the 98,000-square-foot facility would be used for pre-K instruction, with the rest going toward senior housing. The development team touted the intergenerational nature of the project, saying both seniors and children will benefit from the volunteer opportunities presented.
The developers are proposing the county donate the facility and provide $1.5 million for environmental remediation. The county staff estimates that asbestos concerns would put the cost of demolishing the facility at $1.5 million at least.