CHESTERTOWN — Site preparation has begun on the first home being built by Kent Attainable Housing at the College Avenue property that was the location of the original Garnet High School.
Kent Attainable Housing is a nonprofit that seeks to break the cycle of poverty by building affordable homes to help low-income, working families become homeowners, a news release states.
“This is a very exciting project that is a win-win for this community. It’s a fantastic example of strategic infill development for the Town, the neighborhood will benefit from the improvement of a vacant lot, and this is an amazing opportunity for a limited income family to move into their own home,” said Chestertown Mayor Chris Cerino in a statement.
The new dwelling will be a two-story, three-bedroom home designed by Dave and Ed Minch in the style of Chestertown’s colonial vernacular architecture.
The pre-fabricated house will be delivered to the property the third week of October, and then volunteer teams will complete the exterior of the home, according to the release.
ShoreRivers has donated a river-friendly landscaping concept and native plants that volunteers will plant.
The family matched with the house will reportedly receive homeowner and financial education to prepare them for home ownership.
Built in 1916, Garnet High School was named for Henry Highland Garnet, a prominent Black abolitionist who was born into slavery in Kent County. Although this site is on the Historical Society of Kent County’s African American walking tour, there is no marker designating it.
To commemorate its historic significance, Kent Attainable Housing is collaborating with the Good Seeds project and Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area to place an interpretive sign near the sidewalk, according to the release.
The father of Carolyn Brooks, a Kent Attainable Housing board member, was a graduate of Garnet, and his 1947 high school yearbook summarized the history of the school, calling 1916 “a history-making epoch.”
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