SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – New affordable housing apartments are being converted from the old Elias Brookings School in Springfield.

The project began Friday with a groundbreaking ceremony held at 2:00 p.m. with representatives from Home City Development, Inc., Mayor Sarno, and Chief Development Officer Tim Sheehan. The event featured a short tour of the former school that will house 42 mixed-income rental apartments.

“The contractors are hard at work now. With the added couple of weeks, we should be done in a year’s time,” said Peter Sarafino, Director of Real Estate Development.

Mayor Sarno states, “This effort continues the tremendous overall positive transformation of our Central Street corridor area.”

Elias Brookings School was built in 1925 and closed after a tornado damaged it in June 2011. The development project is expected to begin construction in late 2020 or early 2021 and to be completed in twelve months.

Located at 367 Hancock Street in Springfield, the project will create 12 new one-bedroom apartments, 25 two-bedroom apartments, and five three-bedroom apartments. The apartments will provide housing for low income residents, and workforce housing, clients of the Department of Mental Health, people with disabilities, and homeless households.

According to Home City Development, Inc., the 4,000 square foot former gymnasium will be used as multi-purpose resource center and community room for athletics, theater, youth and adult training and education, supportive services for residents, and other events. The site will have elevator access, a laundry room and on-site management office. There will be 61 on-site parking spaces.

Funding for the redevelopment is provided by: TD Bank; National Equity Fund; Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation; MA Department of Housing and Community Development; MassHousing; City of Springfield Community Preservation Committee; Springfield Office of Housing; and Dorfman Capital.