Historic Knoxville High School on its way to becoming senior living facility

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The Historic Knoxville High School will soon become a senior living facility. WATE 6 On Your Side was given a tour inside the building Thursday to see how clean up, restoration and construction is going.

When you step inside Historic Knoxville High School, it’s like going back in time. The school was built in 1910 and the last class graduated  in 1951. Rick Dover, the managing director of Dover Development Corporation, bought the building last year from the county for $500,000.

“It’s really a fabulous building in terms of its architecture design and construction techniques,” said Dover.

Dover is a historic preservation developer, which means he restores, preserves and puts historic buildings back in service. This is what he is doing with the Old Knoxville High School, transforming the space into a senior living facility.

“Seventy-six apartments will be here. There will be full time staff here. There will be full meal service bar, activity directors and local transportation,” said Dover.Slideshow:Historic Knoxville High School

Many of the classrooms will be transformed into two bedroom two bathroom apartments. Many have 14 foot ceilings. Dover says the environmental hazards like lead paint and asbestos have been removed.

They are about to start framing of the walls and putting in heat and air all while keeping the historic integrity of the building. The original maple floors will stay, as will the pressed tin ceilings, original light fixtures and even the chalk boards and pencil sharpeners.

Dover hopes former students will want to move in.

“They want to stay in the same community and many of them also went to the school here or taught here so I think it is going to be a really exciting opportunity for them to come back to Knoxville High,” said Dover.

The apartments are expected to be available for tenants by fall 2016.

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