Pier Property Group of Steelcote fame is renovating the Rock Spring School at 3974 Sarpy in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood. A $350k building permit application for interior demolition was submitted this week. Rock Spring School is a William B Ittner designed school built in 1898. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Rock Spring School (now known as the Providence Educational Center) is located at 3974 Sarpy in St. Louis, Missouri. The 1898 school, an example of the rare Cruciform-Plan Elementary School property type designed by William B. Ittner, is located in a primarily commercial/industrial area southwest of downtown. Of a design showing Craftsman influence, the three-story multichrome brick school exhibits a cruciform floor plan with a core corridor and four radiating arms of classrooms. Remaining in good condition and very much as originally built, the building has an access ramp for the handicapped on the front elevation as its primary alteration. The school is located near the front of its narrow lot, leaving only a strip of front yard between the building and its original iron fence. That strip, as well as the surrounding property, has been paved and is used for parking; the rear and sides of the property are enclosed by a chain-link fence. The original character of the landscaping of this school was doubtless of a minimal nature not unlike that which exists today. Its setting has been altered in that an elevated highway is now located within yards of the primary elevation of the school; few residential buildings are left in the neighborhood, which now consists largely of light industry.National Register Application 1986
The building will be converted into 20,000 square feet of office space. The Board of Aldermen passed 26-0, but Mayor Krewson never signed into law, BB 118 in 2020 introduced by Ald Roddy a redevelopment plan which included a 90% property tax abatement for 10 years (again didn’t go into effect). No redeveloper was named. According to the financials in the bill, Federal and Missouri Historic Tax Credits totaling $1.6M were to be utilized, and the total project cost at the time was estimated to be $6.8M including $3.5M in hard construction costs. Those costs are likely higher today. Pier just recently took ownership, so how relevant those numbers from 2020 are today is likely low. It’s also uncertain what, if any, tax incentives they will seek. Given how tough rehabs like this can be and current price and interest rate conditions, I wouldn’t be surprised if they sought something.
Great to see this gem being brought back to life!
More info from PPG