Next Year

School Building to Become Senior and Family Center

Marcus Garvey Leadership Charter School on Monday, April 15, 2013, in Oklahoma City, Okla. Oklahoma City Public Schools has put the school on notice that it will lose its charter after receiving poor marks from the state Education Department this year. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

The old Marcus Garvey Charter School building is slated to be renovated to become a senior and family community living center, it has been learned.

The planned 40-unit affordable housing complex will be completed by the middle of next year, a statement said, and will offer 1 and 2 bedroom apartments, as well as 2 and 3-bedroom townhouses with attached garages.

Amenities will include a business center, a renovated auditorium, a meeting space, a fitness center, and an outdoor greenspace for park and play areas.

Additional amenities are contemplated and will be announced as firm commitments are secured.

“This new community will give residents the flexibility and options they need to raise families,” said developer Norman Seaberg of One Red Oak, LLC, “including space for grandparents and grandchildren to live together.

“Our goal is to reimagine the senior living community.”

It is anticipated that the development will also be home to a series of community programs and courses, the statement noted.

Some programs under consideration are after school programs, credit counseling, money management, home ownership, nutrition, business planning, and hands-on training, e.g., culinary arts and construction.

The vision was born from community input, through public meetings with members of the neighborhood and community leaders.

Among them were City Councilwoman Nikki Nice (Ward 7), State Sen. George Young (Dem., Oklahoma City) and Rev. Teron Gaddis (pastor of the Greater Bethel Baptist Church).

“This development is designed to provide not only comfortable and desirable housing for its residents, but also provide the community with a comfortable gathering place, where both kids and adults are able to grow, develop, and re-imagine,” co-developer Annita Bridges of The Brickstone Group, LLC, stated.

“We want this to be a model project that will encourage continued growth in northeast Oklahoma City.”

The $9.1 million project will receive federal tax credit funding assistance, approved in November by the board of directors of the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency.

The city of Oklahoma City had previously approved a $1 million grant and $200,000 tax rebate over a 10- year period.

Built in 1927, the school was originally named Harmony Elementary School.

Following desegregation and shifting demographics, in 1974, the building was renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School.

From 2003 until its closure in 2013, it was the Marcus Garvey Leadership Charter School.

With the help of the Oklahoma Historic Preservation Office, in 2019, the development team was successful in having the abandoned school building placed on the National Historic Registry and the Oklahoma Historic Registry.

Developers Seaberg, Little, Anita Bridges, and Roland Chupik of Neighborhood Housing Services/Oklahoma City are working on the project.

Site preparation and demolition are anticipated to begin in the second to third quarter of next year.

Companies interested in bidding to provide services on this project should contact Mike Little at (405)273-4018.

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