LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — A historic hallmark of the Capital city is getting a new life, all while creating more housing for locals.

The Capital Area Housing Partnership broke ground at the site Tuesday along with Mayor Andy Schor and other officials.

Though the building has sat vacant for nine years, the partnership has owned the old school building for the last five years.

The old Walter French School at the intersection of South Cedar Street and Mount Hope Avenue was initially a junior high school, and later a charter school.

According to housing partnership executive director Rawley van Fossen, he’s often been asked what the plans are for the building.

“Every day, you see on the news that there are people who are being evicted, red tags, folks who cannot find affordable and quality housing options,” said state Sen. Sarah Anthony. “The word that keeps being used is transformational.”

Funding for the building’s conversion is a combination of city, federal, block grant and state funding.

“This is going to be mixed income, this is affordable, this is workforce, it’s going to have a daycare, it’s going to have capital area housing projects offices here, supportive services, and it’s right in the heart of our city,” said Mayor Schor.

When work is done, the building will boast 76 rental units and a child care center. The building will also be a new headquarters for the housing partnership.

The housing partnership said they hope to welcome people to the apartments in fall 2024, with the daycare and housing resource center opening in early 2025.