Old, vacant KC school soon to be transformed - KCTV5

Long-closed Seven Oaks school up for transformation work

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It has been vacant for years, acting as a magnet for vandals and vagrants, but now there is a new push to breathe new life into the long-closed Seven Oaks school.

The school was once a thriving facility but a closer look shows the shuttered Seven Oaks has given way to boarded windows, chained-up doors and a wall full of graffiti.

"This used to be a very good neighborhood when the school went down the neighborhood went down," said Ella Eskridge, who lives across the street.

The school is at 3711 Jackson Ave.

She remembers when her neighborhood used to be a vibrant, thriving off activity from Seven Oaks.  But now she says the building is doing more harm than good.

"We've had several break-ins. Youngsters come by and break all the windows," she said.

So Eskridge is glad to hear that a long-standing plan to transform the building into affordable housing for seniors could be a step closer to reality.

The Kansas City Council is considering accepting $800,000 in federal funds, then transferring that money to a private company that now owns the building. They hope to create 44 units of housing for seniors.

"There are a lot of seniors that need affordable housing. It would be great for them," Eskridge said.

However, Eskridge says city leaders have been talking about this plan for years, so she is tempering her excitement until the plan is approved.

The measure goes before the council this week, but there is no word on a possible timeline for remodeling to begin.

The project will be managed by Seven Oaks Estates.  Their plan calls for a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartment-style units.

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