When we introduced you to the Bancroft School in September, the topic of one of the SEED Network’s awesome mini-documentaries, or SEEDocs, the revitalization project was still in development. However, this Saturday’s ground-breaking ceremony means that this innovative community complex will soon be a reality.
The building, which was an elementary school from 1904 until it fell into disrepair and closed in 1999, is located in one of Kansas City’s most neglected, lower income neighborhoods: Manheim Park. However, thanks to the joint-efforts of the Make It Right Foundation, BNIM Architects (the AIA’s 2011 Firm of the Year), and the Historic Manheim Park Neighborhood Association, the once asbestos-ridden school will soon be the center of a revitalization project to transform the urban landscape.
More on the Bancroft Project, after the break…
The Bancroft School and its grounds will be renovated to house 50 affordable, LEED Platinum rental units, an auditorium, gymnasium, technology lab, job training center, mobile medical clinic and community gardens. Plus, Make It Right Solar, in collaboration with Brightergy of Kansas City, will construct a 75kW solar array on the roof.
Moreover, beyond the renovation in infrastructure and housing, the Project will also improve connection to a new transit corridor, which should help spur economic development and job creation. In the words of BNIM Principal Bob Berkebile, “The Historic Manheim Park Neighborhood has suffered the effects of decades of social and economic disinvestment and abandonment. Repurposing the Bancroft School is an important signal that long-awaited investment is returning to this urban stronghold [...] to transform this school into quality housing and critical community services that will build human capital and redefine adaptive re-use, community, housing and healthy neighborhoods.”
Story via the Make It Right Foundation Blog