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Old TUSD school opens as new housing development

Posted at 4:27 PM, Dec 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-01 20:21:14-05
An old Tucson Unified schoolyard has been given new life. Wrightstown Elementary School on the east side is the first TUSD school to get converted into a housing community. On Thursday, a dedication ceremony was held to honor the old school and showcase the new homes.
W\here there once stood a school house in the early 1900's now lies a modernized housing development. Wrightstown school fostered education from 1914 until 2010 when it was torn down. The granddaughter of it's creator, Fredrick C. Wright, says it was hard to see it go.
"That's a very emotional thing to see your school being torn down," said Lynne Urias. "For me it was history being torn down."
After the school closed, TUSD sold the land to Pepper Viner Homes. They created a new 'School Yard'. When it's finished, the community will feature nearly 60 smart homes with an economic impact of more than $16 million.
"When you can transform a school from something that was an attractive nuisance into something that's attractive for families it just means the world to the community," said TUSD superintendent H.T. Sanchez. 
Pepper Viner made sure they didn't forget the school's roots. 
"My grandfather, when he first came out here he told my grandmother that he wanted to see this community grow," said Urias. "He wanted to see families move in and build houses and he got his wish."
The School Yard also features a commemorative plaque and walkway engraved with the names of Wrightstown teachers and alumni.
TUSD says they're planning to convert four other closed schools over the next four years starting with Van Horn Elementary.