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By Ted Pennekamp
Steps are underway to have the main building on the former Wyalusing Academy property developed into a 40-unit apartment building.
In 2014, River to Valley Initiatives, Inc., (RVI) a non-profit corporation based in Prairie du Chien, was selected by the former property owner, Clinicare of West Allis, Wis., to develop the property to be a positive and sustainable entity. The directive was to preserve the historical integrity of the property and save it from demolition, while preserving the tax base. The strategy was to proceed with marketing to find a quality development partner while meeting RVI’s IRS mission under 501 ( C ) 3. The property was officially donated to RVI in July of 2015.
RVI has now secured a partnership with Commonwealth Development of Fond du Lac, Wis., for the historic renovation and adaptive reuse of the property.
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River to Valley Initiatives Announcement of Multi-Million Dollar Development Plans for Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin
In 2014 River to Valley Initiatives, Inc., Inc. a non-profit Wisconsin was selected by the former property owner, Clinicare, to develop the property to be a positive and sustainable entity. The directive was to preserve the historical integrity of this important property and save it from demolition, while preserving the tax base. The strategy was to proceed with marketing to find a quality development partner while again meeting its IRS mission under 501 ( C ) 3.
Announcement of River to Valley Initiatives securing development partnership with Commonwealth Development for the Historic Renovation and Adaptive Reuse of the former Wyalusing Academy
Kevin McDonell, VP of Development for Commonwealth Development (CD)said: We are pleased and excited to share our redevelopment plans for the historic St. Mary’s school that most recently operated as the Wyalusing Academy. The adaptive reuse plans call for 40 apartments all within the former school. Reusing the existing building utilizing historic tax credits will create a mix of spacious 2 and 3-Bedroom units, while providing scenic views of the city. Amenities for the residents to enjoy will include a community room, computer room, fitness center and on-site property management office.
We are excited for the opportunity to preserve the historic school that has served the community since 1872. Our historic adaptive reuse plans will ensure the proud legacy of St. Mary’s will be preserved and carried on as it was originally designed. Historically significant features such as the hardwood flooring, stone work, the gym, and chalkboards will be restored to ensure the building continues to provide a look into the history of Prairie du Chien.
Steps away from the Mississippi River, the project will provide a serene location for residents to call home, while providing a use that is consistent with previous users of the space and ensuring the property does not become a blight on the surrounding neighborhood. Located near downtown Prairie du Chien with close access to schools, parks, jobs, and the hospital, the project will provide an ideal location for residents to call home. The demand for apartments in the city is at an all-time high with new high-quality options non-existent. In addition to satisfying the demand, the residents will provide an economic boost to the nearby businesses by providing a captivated audience to the surrounding businesses and continue to promote the reinvestment in downtown Prairie du Chien.
We look forward to presenting the plans and are excited to for the opportunity to ensure the former St Mary’s School/Wyalusing Academy can bring value to the community for years to come, while serving the community’s strong demand for quality housing.“
River to Valley Initiatives Mission and BackgroundMISSION: River to Valley Initiative (RVI) is a broad based charitable organization, serving economically challenged communities to provide relief to poor, distressed, and the underprivileged in rural communities, thereby lessening the burdens of government, and by combating community deterioration through a holistic approach by working to establish long term sustainable economies.
RVI will bring together leaders, facilitate collaboration, and assemble resources to promote sustainable development activities that integrate housing, business development, tourism, transportation, agricultural and natural resources, cultural and historical resources, and infrastructure recommendations and planning detail to address the interdependent challenges of: (1) economic competitiveness and revitalization; (2) work force development; (3) prepare for the development of housing and business development ; and (3) adhere to sustainable development and livability principles that will serve and uplift economically challenged communities.
Julia Henley, President of RVI stated: “Today RVI brings a great resource into Crawford County and the City of Prairie du Chien in its development partner Commonwealth Development Corporation. The adaptive reuse of this historic building will make this the fourth National Historic Registry building in Prairie du Chien.”
Quality investment in housing is the basis for all other economic growth for a community. It supports existing companies need to attract workers for jobs, brings in new residents that pay taxes and use local business and health care, and is a boon to the economic health of a region intent on managed and manageable growth. Adaptive reuse of a stately historic treasure is especially important for the area which emphasizes and amplifies the historic importance of Prairie du Chien and the Driftless region. Sensitive adaptive resuse of historic buildings provide an attraction that goes beyond typical new construction. We look forward to seeing the success of this project and know that working together, it can provide a positive new chapter for the area.”
This marks the 1st of many steps RVI will be working on to develop this Prairie du Chien treasure. This also marks the 23rd property RVI has enhanced the tax base and look of in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.
RVI is Pro Southwest Wisconsin and is looking forward to more good things to come.
You are encouraged to visit other great projects this firm has accomplished at http://www.commonwealthco.net