The Historic Knoxville High School reopened Tuesday as an independent senior living facility.
Opened in 1910, the school building has not changed much on the outside in 108 years.
Inside it sat in disrepair for years, though. Former audiologist Marcia Power remembers that well from 25 years working there.
“It was just an old building. In fact, we were seriously concerned that the building would not be able to be saved,” Power said.
Tuesday she and dozens of others with memories there got a first look inside after a $15 million effort to revitalize the Knoxville landmark.
“I think I have an old person’s heart. I love history,” Power said.
“You really only get a chance once in your career to do a building like this, and I’ve been doing this 39 years and have never had one that was this fabulous to work with,” said Rick Dover with Dover Development.
Dover took on the project more than two years ago working to transform an old school into an independent senior living facility.
“We ended up restoring all the original windows and repairing all the original pressed tin, so just space after space wherever you look it’s just more interesting and you want to look and explore so we just kind of went with that feeling throughout the whole building,” Dover said.
The developers thought it was not only important to keep the character of the building itself but also remember the people who walked the halls, so all throughout the building, you will see memorabilia from decades past in the hallways.
“The things that really are treasures to the alumni who went to school here, so I’m really thrilled,” Power said.
The old offices and classrooms are now transformed into 80 apartments with new amenities coupled with an old facade.
The project reaching its goal of giving life to Historic Knoxville High once again.
“I think we stand on the shoulders of those who came before,” Power said.
For more information about Historic Knoxville High Independent Senior Living and leasing options, visit www.knoxhigh.com.