Make It Right, the organization created by actor Brad Pitt in 2007 to help rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, is planning to convert a closed school in an economically depressed neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri, into affordable housing and a community center, the Associated Press reports.
The $14 million project will renovate the Bancroft School, which closed in 2000, with the help of the organization and BNIM Architects, a Kansas City-based firm that was involved in Make It Right's efforts in New Orleans. The partners propose to convert the 103-year-old building into twenty-nine affordable apartments and a community center.
Backers told the AP they hope the project will be a model for the city as it looks for new uses for thirty-eight closed schools and to catalyze development of the Green Impact Zone, a 150-square-block area that has been targeted for redevelopment using public and private resources. Funding for the project includes federal historic tax credits, low-income housing and charitable contribution tax credits from the state, and $2.3 million from Make It Right.
"We welcome Make It Right to Kansas City and the Green Impact Zone, and we thank all of the many, many people who have worked so tirelessly to make this day a reality," said U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, who represents the area. "This is one more step forward, a very big one, in keeping jobs, creating jobs, and continuing to boost the local economy."