The effort to overcome a decades-long struggle to recruit and retain educators in McDowell County, W.Va., has gotten a huge lift with the groundbreaking ceremony at Renaissance Village, the centerpiece of the Reconnecting McDowell public-private partnership to revitalize schools and the local economy. Renaissance Village will be the first multistory construction in Welch in more than 50 years, comprising 16 apartments on two floors alongside two additional floors of retail and commercial space.
Reconnecting McDowell leaders announced that construction of the Renaissance Village apartment building, which includes commercial space, will begin in spring 2019. The Reconnecting McDowell board approved a redesigned plan, which was announced at a Monday evening town hall meeting. To make it affordable, the slightly scaled-back plan for the Welch building, which will cost an estimated $7 million, will have two floors of apartments and two floors of retail/commercial space.
Gov. Jim Justice today awarded Reconnecting McDowell $1 million from the Abandoned Mine Land Grants program, to be used for financing the construction of the Renaissance Village apartment building in Welch, W.Va.
Reconnecting McDowell is in the final stages of building Renaissance Village, which will provide previously unavailable modern rental apartments to teachers and others in McDowell County. The funding puts the project, slated to be open by the start of the fall 2020 school year, near the finishing line for financing.