The Casper City Council on Tuesday gave initial approval to rezone the area of the former North Casper Elementary School for the Casper Housing Authority

The 36,000-square-foot building at 1014 Glenarm St., will be used for a multi-purpose facility with offices, a child care facility, and a maintenance facility for all public housing throughout the city, according to the agenda for the meeting.

The property would be rezoned from Educational District to General Business, according to the agenda.

The Casper Housing Authority bought the former school for $150,000 from the Natrona County School District in March.

During the public comment period, Housing Authority Director Kim Summerall-Wright told the council that the organization will spend $1.4 million to rehabilitate the building, with $300,000 for a fire suppression system.

The Casper Housing Authority needs the building because it has grown from five employees to 38 now, and those employees need office space, Summerall-Wright said.

It owns a lot of housing for low-income people in north Casper, and it works with other organizations -- Seton House, Interfaith, the Wyoming Brain Injury Alliance -- that have a presence in north Casper that serve low-income and disadvantaged people, she said.

The Casper Housing Authority currently operates at an office building on North Durbin Street, and it intends to sell the building after it moves into the former school, Summerall-Wright said.

According to a memo from Community Development Director Liz Becher to City Manager Carter Napier in the agenda, the property consists of 38 platted lots and a vacated portion of a north-south alley through the block. The structures on the property have not been used since 2015, according to the memo.

City of Casper
City of Casper

The rezoning will meet city priorities of improving the core of the community and enhancing the identity and cultural uses in residential neighborhoods, according to the memo.

No one spoke in opposition of the zoning proposal.

The council will hear a second reading of the proposed rezoning at a future meeting.

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