Clinton's historic Roosevelt School reopened Tuesday as an apartment building with 16 mixed-income units available for rent.
The $4.8 million rehabilitation of the 1880s high school and public library was undertaken by Community Housing Initiatives, a nonprofit developer based in Spencer, Iowa.
That is the same organization that got the downtown redevelopment ball rolling in Clinton nearly 15 years ago when it undertook refurbishment of the historic Van Allen Building into 19 apartments, opening them in 2003. The nonprofit has since completed four other projects, including the Roosevelt, for a total of 100 apartments.
The former school at 600 S. 4th St. opened in 1889 as the Clinton High School and Public Library. The towered building designed by architect Josiah Rice in the late Victorian Romanesque style served as a high school until 1922.
From then until 1973-74, it served as the office of the superintendent and an elementary school named Roosevelt. Its final educational use was as the Clinton Community School District's administration center, which moved in 2013.
To finance the project, Community Housing Initiatives worked with the school district and numerous community partners to secure $3 million from the federal Community Development Block Grant program, state historic tax credits and other sources.
"It will be a showcase for the whole community," Deb Olson, school district superintendent, said in a news release.
"To build a school building of that quality, in that location (very visible), is a real testament to the value we have always placed on education in Clinton," Olson said. "People here made that investment so long ago and we are still benefiting from it."
The architect for the school also designed the Armstrong and Howes buildings, 717 S. 2nd St. and 419 S. 2nd St., respectively, that also have been turned into apartments by Community Housing Initiatives.
Other buildings to the architect's credit are the county courthouse, 612 N. 2nd St.; the Curtis Mansion/Clinton Women's Club, 420 5th Ave. S.; and the Jacobsen building, 246 5th Ave. S.
The school offers one- and two-bedroom units; 12 are income-restricted and four are available at market rate.
Rents range from $560 per month for a one-bedroom, income-restricted apartment to $750 per month for a two-bedroom, market rate unit.