Units - May 2012 - (Page 57)
BY TRACI ANGEL
Photography by Tim Ludwig, Camera Works Associates.com
This converted rural Missouri high school represents the ultimate homecoming for one of its students.
hen Netta Coon steps inside the auditorium where her 1966 graduation from Trenton High School in rural north-central Missouri was held, she fondly recalls walking across the stage and receiving her diploma. Today, 45 years later, those and many other childhood memories are just a few steps away. She lives in that old school building, which this year was renovated into a senior housing community. Her apartment home is one of 35 units that comprise Adams Park, a multifamily housing community for seniors and that rose out of the former school’s footprint. It’s easy for Coon to visualize graduation. The auditorium, among other whispers of Trenton High, remains to this day. Teachers’ names still hang on doors. Blackboards and art supply cabinets adorn apartment interiors. A trophy case stands in the hallway. The developer wanted it that way. Hamilton Properties Corporation resurrected the vacant threew w w. n a a h q . o r g
story building in just 18 months, converting the site that once housed a middle school, high school and junior college. “It’s like going back to school,” says Coon, who recently returned to the town where she grew up to be closer to family. “I was totally amazed at those apartments. [The building] is gorgeous.” The apartment building today has meant more than just home for senior residents. It’s a source of revenue for the city, which has enjoyed an uptick in visitors who have come back to see their “new” old school. The effort to graduate that 88-year-old building from a wornout structure into modern apartments was far from elementary.
Of Decline and Resurrection
Trenton’s Mayor Cathie Smith served on the Trenton School Board during the early 1990s when local officials were wrestling with what to do with the abandoned property. In one plan, the board asked voters to approve a levy to build a new school.
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