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‘Prime’ Location

Former Elementary School To Be Turned Into Housing Units

Pictured is a rendering of a unit planned for The Enclave at Chautauqua Lake, the name of the housing complex to be available to adults 55 and older.

FLUVANNA — A property that once helped countless students hit the books will soon be transformed into a series of housing units where residents can hit the sack.

Dan Balling and his partner recently completed the purchase of the former Fluvanna Elementary School, 2887 Fluvanna-Townline Road, Ellery. Plans call for modest renovations to the building’s interior where at least 14 units will be established to go along with community spaces and a recreation area, among other amenities.

Balling, who is serving as developer and future owner of the 24,000-square-foot site, said the housing will cater to individuals 55 and older. The site will be known as The Enclave at Chautauqua Lake.

“I live right around the corner and have been interested in purchasing it for a number of years,” Balling said of the former school, built in 1953 and most recently used by Chautauqua Connections.

“It’s in fantastic shape for its age,” he told The Post-Journal. “It’s been well-maintained for the last 70 years. Structurally, it’s a great building.”

Developers are looking to turn the former Fluvanna Elementary School into a housing complex with more than a dozen units. Work is scheduled to be completed by late summer or early fall. P-J file photo

For a residential area, Balling noted the property’s proximity to Jamestown for shopping, dining and medical care. There’s also Chautauqua Lake a stone’s throw from the grounds.

Balling will develop the building with his cousin, a partnership that previously included purchasing the former Cassadaga Elementary School before it was turned into the Academy at Maple Avenue for BOCES.

In Fluvanna, the pair thought the site was “prime for something like this,” said Balling, who said residents will experience a “stress-free living environment where they won’t have to worry about plowing snow or mowing the grass.”

He added, “We will handle everything. They won’t have to worry about property taxes or things like that.”

In 2021, another developer approached the town of Ellery about turning the former elementary school into short- and long-term apartments. That project never materialized.

Balling already has received a special use permit for the project. The developers are scheduled to appear before the Ellery Town Board later this month to review site plans one last time.

With a building permit in hand, Balling expects renovations to begin as soon as all stipulations have been satisfied.

Larry Anderson, Ellery town supervisor, said he recently received the final prints for the housing project. “It’s really going to be quite nice,” he told The Post-Journal.

Anderson called the former school a “quality building.” In fact, he said, the town looked at purchasing the site a year ago for a new town hall, though those plans did not come to fruition.

Balling hopes to have renovation work complete by late summer or early fall. He acknowledged the “aggressive timeline,” but added, “We think we can do it.”

The Enclave at Chautauqua Lake will feature comfortable, independent living spaces utilizing existing classrooms for units that will be about 1,000 square feet each. Renovations will consist of adding bathrooms and kitchens to each unit and putting in new walls to establish community spaces.

Balling said the school’s gym will be turned into a recreational hub, with the possibility of establishing an indoor pickleball court as well.

Local contractors will be used for the work.

“It really is a beautiful building,” said Balling, who noted the “positive impact” the project will have on the community. He also thanked town officials for helping to get the project going.

Anyone with questions regarding the future housing project can call 716-705-8865.

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