The transformation of the Old Prices Fork School brings together diverse community partners to support affordable housing, economic development and local food access for residents of the New River Valley. This spring the project was awarded $2.5 million from the Vibrant Communities Initiative through the State of Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and a $500,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission.

The project’s first phase, which is already underway, converts the former classrooms of the old Prices Fork Elementary School into16 two bedroom apartments, with 10 affordable and six market-rate units for people 55 and older.  The second phase includes two components: (1) the Old School Food Center, which will provide innovative economic development opportunities for new or expanding local food-based entrepreneurs through the creation of a commercial incubator kitchen, farm-to-table restaurant, retail market, craft brewery and business competition with support services, and, (2) 16 new apartments with a mix of affordable and market rate units.

The project is a unique and unprecedented collaboration of 21 public and private organizations including the Regional Commission, Montgomery County, Town of Blacksburg, Virginia Community Capital, Community Foundation of the NRV, Taylor Hollow Companies, the New River Valley HOME Consortium, Beans and Rice, and Old School Food Company. Project planning and design will continue through 2016, with construction slated to start begin in early 2017. For further information, please contact Jennifer Wilsie, jwilsie@nrvrc.org.

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