Schools to be converted into apartments

The plan is for all three of Iola's existing elementary schools to be converted into apartments. School board members heard about the project, which would bring a combined 61 apartments of Iola.

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Local News

February 15, 2022 - 10:46 AM

A Kansas City architect and design firm wants to convert all three elementary schools into apartments when they are vacated with the opening of a new Iola Elementary School next fall. From left, McKinley, Jefferson and Lincoln schools. Register file photo

Iola got a sweetheart deal on Valentine’s Day, as school board members learned a Kansas City company wants to convert all three of  its elementary schools into housing, an investment worth about $20 million.

At a meeting Monday, school board members voted to pursue an agreement with BNIM, an architecture and design firm based in Kansas City, Mo.

Under the deal, BNIM would partner with two other entities to secure financing including tax credits for low-income housing and historic preservation. They would remodel all three elementary schools in three phases:

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