NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Since 2015, North Heights Elementary has stood vacant in North Little Rock.
Neighbors have long questioned when the school would be re-purposed and what it would be. The City has landed on a plan for Habitat for Humanity housing.
"We are going to remove this building, and we are going to put 6-8 lots right down this street right down Allen Street. And we are going to build brand new houses. Like the ones y'all have seen before right in this neighborhood,” said Bill Plunkett, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas.
Plunkett said he literally stumbled upon the abandoned school, where their new builds will soon call home.
"I wander around down here all the time. We've got like 70 homeowners in this area. We've repaired over 150 homes in this area. So, this is kind of where Habitat lives in North Little Rock and we are excited about that,” he added.
North Heights Elementary is one of the 10 North Little Rock schools closed after the 2015 school year and is the only one that hasn't been re-purposed. Becoming an eye sore for a neighborhood on the up-and-up.
“So I said, what's the deal with the school? They said well, we would love to do something with it, but we haven't found anybody willing to pay for it. I said I want it. I'll take it. But you've got to tear it down first,” Plunkett said of how Habitat ended up with the property.
The deal is Habitat will help the city get the grants to tear the old school, which is in surprisingly good condition for having been abandoned for two years. And in return, they will get the land for a handful of new Habitat homes.
"There are several nice houses in this neighborhood. We are going to build houses just like those that people will be proud to live in they will get new neighbors, and they will be good neighbors. We are excited about that because we are getting to change not only the six to eight lives that we build houses for here, and those families, but the families around them too. So, it's a good thing. God dropped me in here for some reason. I looked at this and went 'I wonder what they're doing with that', so sometimes it is helpful to ask questions,” Plunkett told us.
Plunkett added he expects they will start breaking ground just as soon as the school has been demolished.
For more information on applying for a Habitat for Humanity home, click here.
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