AMES, Iowa — When Crawford Elementary closed in 1990, the school went on to a new use, being the Ames Schools Administrative Office. Last year, the district opened a new building for the administration, leaving Crawford without a use.
RES Development purchased the building to develop as condos. “The Crawford” is holding an open house for the public to see this school converted into modern living on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
“Crawford is an adaptive reuse of an old 1930s school converted into 30 condominiums,” said Luke Jensen, project coordinator. “Along with a lot of amenity space, there’s a club room, theater, and fitness area, then we had additional land to build a 38 car parking structure.”
Jensen drew attention in Ames back in 2015, when he took the abandoned Roosevelt Elementary, and transformed it into “The Roosevelt.” The Crawford is bigger than the Roosevelt. Twelve condo units fit into the old school. The rest are new construction atop the parking garage.
“My dad’s got great vision for taking the spaces that are vacant and empty, unoccupied, and really without a certainty for its future, can imagine what it can be,” said Jensen.
The one and two bedroom units start at $219,000 and run up to $300,000. The developers worked to keep the school’s feel, including brick walls, the Louise Crawford School Sign, and a mural painted by students heading into the 1980s.
“It’s a neat piece where all the artists contributed. We had students in kindergarten up to fifth grade that were the artists,” said Jensen.