In 2012, Taylor Hollow Construction, having successfully redeveloped several other vacant, historic buildings in the NRV, turned its sights to the old Prices Fork Elementary School. With this new project, the developer hoped to apply the same mixed-use formula to create new business spaces as well as use locally-allocated HOME funds from HUD to create affordable housing opportunities.
Around that same time the NRV Livability Initiative released preliminary data findings demonstrating the need for affordable housing to support aging in place and an interest from the Prices Fork community in saving the building which has served as the center of the community for many years. So the question became, what else could happen with the building?
A series of meetings were held with Prices Fork community members, people interested in local food, and people working on aging in place to develop options for breathing new life into the Old School.
Soon after, a handful of these stakeholders had the opportunity to participate in a Sustainable Communities Design Academy run by the American Architectural Foundation to develop a design concept for the old Prices Fork Elementary School. A core group started to emerge and began to apply for funding to support the project. Funding was eventually obtained from the Appalachian Regional Commission in the amount of $500K and then the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) announced a new program called the Vibrant Communities Initiative or VCI.
The Prices Fork project was the first project to receive VCI funding and it was awarded $2.5 million. DHCD required a Management/Leadership Team to support this redevelopment project. Eventually, this project team became a full-fledged nonprofit organization Live Work Eat Grow to help sustain this project’s work and goals. As a result, we now have a thriving community center comprised of The Prices Fork Apartments (Phase I and II), the Moon Hollow Brewery, The Millstone Kitchen, and El Ranchero.